Babus scuttle plan to give state guest status to Maharashtra BJP chief

Asked for advice by the CM, the protocol department has asked him to dismiss the idea since the status is usually given to people from other states holding high offices, and not party post holders who are residents of Maharashtra

A plan to grant the coveted status of ‘state guest’ to Maharashtra BJP president Raosaheb Danve, which would have entitled him to perks that only people in the VVIP category are given, has been scuttled by bureaucrats.

Raosaheb Danve, who held the post of minister of state for consumer affairs, food and public distribution, had resigned in January, after taking over as the state BJP chief. File Pic
Raosaheb Danve, who held the post of minister of state for consumer affairs, food and public distribution, had resigned in January, after taking over as the state BJP chief. File Pic

A BJP leader said that the plan to accord the special status to Danve, who is an MP and was a Union minister of state before taking over as the state party president, was initiated at the behest of the state BJP office. Danve is reported to have discussed the plan with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who sought the protocol department’s advice.

The department has advised the CM to dismiss the idea because there was no such precedent in the state. It has suggested that Danve could, at the most, be provided enhanced security cover.

Reasoning
Sources said that the protocol department’s contention was that state guest status was given only to people from other states holding high offices, and not someone who holds a party position and is a permanent resident of Maharashtra. Exceptions have, however, been made, with anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, a permanent state resident, being one of them.

'Don't need it'
Danve told mid-day yesterday that he had heard of the government’s plans to grant him the special status. He said, however, that he did not need any special treatment because being an MP and ex-minister, he was already entitled to things that a state guest enjoys.

“I gave up red beacon (minister’s post) on my own, so I can say I don’t need any special treatment. I’m entitled for air and rail travel in the best class available,” he said.

Danve said that he had, however, asked for a more comprehensive security cover in view of his new job.

“I’m entitled to the protection that an MP gets, but since I’m a state BJP president and am required to travel at odd hours and attend a large number of public gatherings in the latter capacity, my demand is not unwarranted,” he said.

Missing out
As a state guest, the extra perks that Danve would have got were a red beacon car, a bigger cavalcade, entitlement to reside in Sahyadri, the state guesthouse, having protocol department officials attending to him and extra security cover.

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