After the Maharashtra government downgraded the security cover for Devendra Fadnavis, the former chief minister on Sunday said he never asked for high-level security in the first place, reported ANI. Fadnavis said he was a “people’s person”, and that the change does not impact his plans or intention to meet others, according to NDTV.
“I never asked for security even when I was state president,” the Bharatiya Janata Party leader told reporters. “I got it for the first time when I became chief minister and when I got threats after Yakub Memon’s death sentence and other instances. I feel it should be given based on threat perception.”
In a notification issued on Thursday, the Shiv Sena-led government reduced security cover for Fadnavis and his family along with Union Minister Ramdas Athawale and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray. While Fadnavis’ security cover was reduced from Z+ to Y+ with escort, his wife Amrita Fadnavis will now be given Y+ security with escort. Their daughter Divija Fadnavis’ security, on the other hand, was scaled down from Y+ to X.
Besides this, the government also withdrew cover for state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil and former Chief Minister Narayan Rane. At the same time, it increased the security of few politicians, including Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha, Sunetra Pawar, the wife of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, and Yuva Sena Secretary Varun Sardesai.
Fadnavis, a staunch critic of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government, alleged the dispensation was not following the principle of threat perception, but instead was providing security cover based on political equations. “Currently, the security cover is being given on a political basis,” he said. “Few people do not have threat perception but are given strong security. I do not have an issue with it.”
Maharashtra BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhyay, meanwhile, accused the Maha Vikas Aghadi of “vendetta politics”. “The decision shows what kind of a mindset this government has and it is unfortunate,” Upadhyay told PTI. “During the Covid lockdown Fadnavis was going to every nook and corner of the state, while Chief Minister [Uddhav] Thackeray was sitting at home.”
Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, however, rejected the charge. “A committee of five senior officers was set up to review the security and take a decision as per the threat perception,” he said. “There is no politics in the decision taken.”