Security downgrade:BJP alleges political vendetta by Maha govt

The shiv Sena-led Maharashtragovernments move to downgrade the security cover of formerchief minister Devendra Fadnavis and his family, ex-UPgovernor Ram Naik and MNS president Raj Thackeray, and towithdraw the security cover of state BJP chief ChandrakantPatil, has evoked the allegations of political vendetta.As per a government notification issued on January 8,the security covers of BJP leader and former CM Narayan Rane,Chandrakant Patil and another senior BJP leader SudhirMungantiwar have been withdrawn.

PTI | Mumbai | Updated: 10-01-2021 19:44 IST | Created: 10-01-2021 19:44 IST
Security downgrade:BJP alleges political vendetta by Maha govt

The shiv Sena-led Maharashtragovernment's move to downgrade the security cover of formerchief minister Devendra Fadnavis and his family, ex-UPgovernor Ram Naik and MNS president Raj Thackeray, and towithdraw the security cover of state BJP chief ChandrakantPatil, has evoked the allegations of ''political vendetta''.

As per a government notification issued on January 8,the security covers of BJP leader and former CM Narayan Rane,Chandrakant Patil and another senior BJP leader SudhirMungantiwar have been withdrawn. Rane had 'Y-plus' security.

Reacting to the development, Fadnavis, who is theLeader of Opposition in the state Legislative Assembly, saidhe was not worried but also alleged that the government wasgiving security on the ''basis of politics''.

As per the notification, Fadnavis will now get 'Y-plussecurity with escort', instead of the 'Z-plus' cover. Thesecurity of his wife Amruta Fadnavis and daughter Divija hasbeen downgraded from 'Y-plus with escort' to 'X' category.

Former Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik will now get'Y' cover instead of 'Y-plus'.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray's security cover has beendowngraded from 'Z' to 'Y plus with escort'.

Maharashtra BJP spokesman Keshav Upadhye allegedthat the security of Fadnavis and other BJP leaders wasdowngraded out of ''political vendetta''.

''The decision shows what kind of a mindset thegovernment has, and it is unfortunate. During the COVID-19lockdown period, Fadnavis was travelling to the nook andcorner of the state, while Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray wassitting at home,'' he claimed.

Upadhye said Fadnavis was the first to reach Bhandarawhere 10 babies died in fire at a hospital on Saturday.

''Even if the entire security cover is removed, he(Fadnavis) would continue to travel in the state and highlightthe voice of the people,'' the BJP leader said.

Fadnavis said he had not taken security when he wasthe state BJP president.

He said he received security for the first time afterbecoming the chief minister of Maharashtra (in 2014) andsubsequently, on the threat perception after the hanging of(1993 Mumbai blasts convict) Yakub Memon and action againstNaxalites.

''I feel security should be given on the basis ofthreat perception, now the government is giving security onthe basis of politics. Some are getting increased protectioneven when there is no threat perception to them,'' he said.

''I am a people's person and this doesn't impact mytravel (schedules) to meet people,'' Fadnavis added.

Rejecting Upadhye's charge, state Home Minister AnilDeshmukh said in Nagpur that the the decision to review thesecurity cover of several leaders and prominent personalitieshas been taken as per the threat perception, irrespective ofpolitical affiliations.

''A committee of five senior officers was set up toreview the security and take a decision as per the threatperception,'' he said.

BJP leader Narayan Rane, a former Shivsainik andfierce critic of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, said thestate government would be responsible if anything happens tohim.

Rane said he had been given security by the MumbaiPolice because he had a threat from terrorists.

Sudhir Mungantiwar said he was given security due toNaxal threat.

''I thank the government for withdrawing my securitycover. This means the Naxal threat doesn't exist. Our aim tohighlight people's voice will be more stronger,'' he said.

The Congress, which is one of the constituents in theMaha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, besides the NCP, said itwas the Narendra Modi government which had acted out of''political vendetta when it withdrew SPG security to theGandhi family''.

In a statement, Maharashtra Congress spokespersonSachin Sawant said it was not the MVA government but the Modiregime which had acted of political vindictiveness.

''The opposition BJP is crying hoarse over downgradingof security to their leaders after review of threatperception. But the Gandhi family and former PM Manmohan Singhwere under threat, still their security and staff wasdowngraded, '' Sawant said.

The government, as per the notification, has upgradedthe security of two persons, downgraded of 11, withdrawn of16, while 13 new people have got security cover.

Prominent among the new persons to get security areSunetra Pawar, wife of state Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar,and Varun Sardesai, secretary of the Yuva Sena and nephew ofChief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's wife Rashmi Thackeray.

Both have been given 'X' security cover.

As per the notification, Union minister RamdasAthawale will get only 'Y-plus' security instead of the'Y-plus with escort', while his colleague Raosaheb Danve's'Y-plus' cover has been withdrawn.

Danve is the BJP MP from Jalna while Athawale, whoseRPI (A) is part of the NDA, is a Rajya Sabha MP.

The government has also withdrawn the security coverof former minister Rajkumar Badole, BJP MLAs Prasad Lad andRam Kadam, and former speaker and BJP MLA Haribhau Bagade.

Former Mumbai Congress chief Kripashankar Singh, whoquit the party, and BJP's former minister Shobhatai Fadnavis,an aunt of Devendra Fadnavis, will also not enjoy the 'X'category security.

The security of BJP's former minister Ashish Shelarhas been downgraded from 'Y-plus' to 'Y'.

State Legislative Council Chairman Ramraje NaikNimbalkar and Relief and Rehabilitation minister VijayWadettiwar will get 'Y-plus with escort', while Shiv Sena MLAVaibhav Naik, who had defeated Narayan Rane in the 2014Assembly polls, will get 'X' security cover.

Current state ministers Sandeepan Bhumre, Sunil Kedar,Dilip Walse Patil and Abdul Sattar, Leader of Opposition inthe Council Pravin Darekar and state Assembly's Deputy SpeakerNarhari Zhirwal have been given 'Y' cover.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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