The Maharashtra government’s decision to remove and downgrade security covers for 27 BJP leaders has left the saffron party seething. To add insult to injury, the state government has provided security covers to 11 new politicians linked to the members of the ruling alliance namely the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party. The BJP has reacted angrily calling the move political vendetta.
According to the new government notification, the security cover for former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been downgraded from ‘Z plus’ to ‘Y-plus security with escort.’ The security cover for his wife Amruta Fadnavis and daughter Divija too has been downgraded from ‘Y-plus with escort’ to ‘X’ category.
The government of Maharashtra has also downgraded the security cover for BJP leader and former Uttar Pradesh governor, Ram Naik, from ‘Y-plus’ to ‘Y’ category. The security cover for BJP leaders Narayan Rane and Sudhir Mungantiwar have been removed altogether.
A new report by PTI said that MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s security cover too had been downgraded from ‘Z’ to ‘Y plus with escort’.
Among those who have either been included in the new list of protectees or whose security cover has been enhanced are Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s wife Sunetra Pawar and Varun Sardesai, the secretary of the Shiv Sena’s youth wing and nephew of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s wife Rashmi Thackeray.
Reacting to the government’s decision, Maharashtra BJP spokesman Keshav Upadhye called it ‘vendetta politics.’ State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh rejected the charge saying that the decision was taken as per the new threat perception.