THE Maharashtra Government has reduced the security cover of former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his family, former UP Governor Ram Naik and MNS President Raj Thackeray, and withdrawn the security cover of State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil. State BJP spokesman Keshav Upadhye termed the action unfortunate and a “vendetta” of the ruling coalition against his party’s leaders. Fadnavis, who is at present Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, alleged that the Government was now giving security “on the basis of politics”, and that this would not impact his plans to travel and meet people.
However, State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh rejected the Opposition BJP’s charge and said the security of political leaders was reviewed as per the prevailing threat perception. As per a Government notification issued on January 8, Fadnavis will now get ‘Y-plus security with escort’, instead of the ‘Z-plus’ cover. The security of his wife Amruta Fadnavis and daughter Divija has been 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 been downgraded from ‘Z’ to ‘Y plus with escort’.
The security covers of BJP leader and former CM Narayan Rane, State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil and senior party leader Sudhir Mungantiwar have been withdrawn. Rane had ‘Y-plus’ security. Besides, the security of State Lokayukta M L Tahiliani has been downgraded from ‘Z’ to ‘Y’.