The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday provided Congress MLA Aditi Singh, who represents Rae Bareli in the Assembly, a security upgrade to Y-plus category a day after she skipped party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s protest march in Lucknow, The Indian Express reported. Singh had instead attended a special Assembly session commemorating Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, which her party had decided to boycott.

Y-plus security involves an escort vehicle, personal security officer and a security detail of one guard commander and four guards for security at the person’s residence.

The actions of Singh, who is a first time MLA and the daughter of former Congress leader Akhilesh Singh, have triggered rumours of infighting and a possible move to the Bharatiya Janata Party. Akhilesh Singh died in August.

In May, the legislator had suffered injuries on her way from Lucknow to Rae Bareli after unidentified people attacked her convoy, according to News18. She was going to attend a floor test in her Assembly segment against local district panchayat chief Awadhesh Singh, who had contested the Lok Sabha polls against interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

“I have been asking for it [the security] for a while now ever since the attack took place,” she said. “I met the chief minister and apprised him that the main culprits have not yet been arrested and especially after my father’s death recently, I fear more for my security. It has been finally given.”

The MLA clarified that the security cover should not be seen as a “return gift from the government” as she “genuinely needed it”. On Wednesday, she had said she attended the special Assembly session as it was a good opportunity speak about her constituents’ problems. The Congress leader had also supported the Centre’s August 5 order to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special constitutional status.

Confirming that Aditi Singh had been provided Y-plus security cover, Rae Bareli Superintendent of Police Swapnil Mamgain said the MLA previously had three gunners in her security team. “After the upgrade, 10 armed guards will be in her security cover,” he told The Times of India. “The Y-plus security includes two personal security officers, an escort vehicle with four personnel, and four guards at her residence.”

Opposition boycott

The 36-hour special simultaneous sessions of the state Assembly was boycotted by the Congress and several other Opposition parties. The sessions began on Wednesday and ended on Thursday night without any breaks.

Chief Minister Adityanath criticised the Opposition parties. “The Opposition has exposed itself by staying away from the discussion on sustainable development goals,” he said.

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