Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is fuming at the state government’s decision to grant Y-level security to state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Raosaheb Danve. The NCP has blamed the government for discriminating against it, since its own state unit leader, Sunil Tatkare, had his request for security cover rejected.
NCP state chief Sunil Tatkare alleged discrimination and said the government should clarify on the decision to provide Y-level security to BJP state chief Raosaheb Danve (left). File pics
Under the Y category, state BJP president Raosaheb Danve will have two armed police guards accompanying him wherever he goes. He will also have a four-man squad watching over his home, and will be provided with an escort vehicle on need basis.
This decision has evoked a strong reaction from NCP’s Tatkare, who told mid-day, “My party had applied to the government for providing me a security cover, but the request was rejected. In Mumbai, I don’t have any security cover whereas in Raigad, I get a single police official to protect me because I’m a local legislator.”
Alleging discrimination, Tatkare demanded that the BJP-led government should clarify on the issue of according Danve with the security cover. “It is understandable that the government decides on who should get protection. But then, it should come out in the open when (BJP) state president gets it and others don’t. There should be transparency in such matters and people should know.”
Sources said that NCP was more upset because the protection covers given to its senior leaders were degraded after the BJP government came to power late last year. Ex-CM and state Congress president Ashok Chavan said he was not aware of any perceived threat to Danve, based on which he was given security cover.
“It is a matter to be decided by the government, and I would not like to comment on it because I don’t know the reasons behind such a decision.” Danve was also considered for the special status of state guest, but did not get it because of lack of such provision in state protocol rules.
The state bureaucrats had thwarted a plan of granting this status to Danve, who, if granted the grade, would have enjoyed the perks entitled to VVIPs (‘Babus scuttle plan to give state guest status to state BJP chief’, May 16). The babus had suggested that the party chief could, at the most, be provided with enhanced security cover.
The privilege of state guest is generally given to only those from other states holding high offices, and not someone who holds a party position and is a permanent resident of Maharashtra. However, there have been some exceptions to this rule like social crusader Anna Hazare, whom the state accorded this honour.
>> Two armed police guards to protect Raosaheb Danve wherever he goes
>> Four-man squad to guard his home
>> Escort vehicle on need basis
Danve could not be contacted because he was travelling. However, he had told mid-day on May 15 that he needed police protection because he travelled to various places at odd hours and meets a large number of people as the president of the state’ ruling party. Calling it a justified decision, BJP chief spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said due procedure had been followed in providing protection to Danve.
“When the government is convinced, only then does it give (such) security covers. And, our government is not securing any person who is a criminal or a convict. The earlier governments had given security to many criminals and, hence, they (NCP and Congress) do not have any moral right to question us,” Bhandari said.