Maharashtra government reduces security of ex-CM Devendra Fadnavis, Raj Thackeray

State BJP spokesman Keshav Upadhye termed it as "vendetta politics", while former chief minister Fadnavis said this would not impact his plans to travel and meet people.

Devendra Fadnavis
Mumbai: Maharashtra’s Uddhav Thackeray government on Sunday downgraded or withdrew the security cover of key opposition leaders. However, the cover of many Sena-NCP-Congress leaders were upgraded. The security of former BJP CM Devendra Fadnavis, who had Z+ cover, has been downgraded to Y+ with an escort vehicle. His family’s security has also been downgraded.

Former UP governor Ram Naik’s security has been downgraded from Y+ to Y. The cover of Maharashtra CM’s rival and cousin Raj Thackeray, who is also Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief, has been downgraded from Z to Y+.

The security of state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil, who had Y+ with an escort vehicle, has been withdrawn. The other BJP leaders whose cover has been withdrawn are Sudhir Mungantiwar, Narayan Rane, Ram Kadam and Madhav Bhandari. Union minister Ramdas Athawale will get only Y+ instead of Y+ with escort.

The cover of other BJP leaders — former Speaker Haribhau Bagade, Union minister Raosaheb Danve, MLC Shobhatai Fadnavis (Fadnavis’ aunt) — has been removed. However, each of them will be provided with a constable as they are MLAs and MP.

Mungantiwar said: “Usually during a review, security is downgraded but for the first time I am experiencing complete removal. We have no issues but governments change and they (MVA) should take note of that too,” he said.

Fadnavis said: “During our tenure, we used to review security as per threat perception. However, they (MVA) are taking a political decision. I have no complaints. This will not prevent us from moving out.” Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said NCP chief Sharad Pawar called him up after hearing about the security downgrades and said that he too did not need cover and the government could withdraw it altogether
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