Political blamegame errupts as Thackeray government downgrades BJP leaders’ security

By Express News Service
MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s decision to scale down the security cover of opposition leaders, while extending it for Maha Vikas Aghadi ministers and leaders, has drawn flak from the BJP, which termed the action as vendetta politics.

However, Congress came out in support of the Tackeray government, stating that the security cover upgrade or downgrade was based on police report after analysing the situation.

The grade of security given to former chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis was reduced to Y plus escort from Z.

Fadnavis’ wife and daughter’s security cover too witnessed a downgrade. Maharashtra BJP state president, who had been given Y plus security, would have none now.

Meanwhile, MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s cover was brought down to Y plus security from Z.

Shatraghan Sinha found his cover had been upgraded to Y plus escort from Y, while U B Nikam’s Z security was upgraded to Z plus in Mumbai.

Estranged Congress leader Kripashankar Singh’s security cover has been scrapped altogether.

Union minister for state Ramdas Athwale’s security cover has reduced to Y from the earlier Y plus escort, while former governor of Uttar Pradesh Ram Naik, former BJP minister Ashish Shelar and former Sena Minister Deepak Kesarkar’s found their security cover downgraded to Y from Y plus.

The police department also cancelled the security cover extended to several BJP leaders, including Sudhir Mungantiwar, former CM Narayan Rane, BJP MLC Prasad Lad, BJP MLA Ram Kadam, Haribhau Bagade, Rausaheb Danave, BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari, Shobhatai Fadnavis etc.

Maharashtra state legislative council chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar and Maha Vikas Aghadi minister Vijay Wadettiwar have been given Y plus escort security cover in Mumbai.

Besides, Shiv Sena youth leader Varun Sardesai, Sena MLA Vaibhav Naik, Minister Abdul Sattar and Minister Dilip Walse Patil and Sunil Kedar have been also provided with security cover.  

Interestingly, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s spouse Sunetra Pawar was given the X security by Uddhav Thackeray government.

Lashing out at the government, the opposition called the action as vendetta politics. However, Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant referred to the action of the Modi government, reducing the security cover of former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka.

“Was it vendetta politics then? Maha Vikas Aghadi is not into vendetta politics. The security was reduced or scrapped or upgraded as per the internal report of the police department,” Sawant added.