Govt relents on security cover for VIPs

Home minister yet to get the panel report

Sources in the Home ministry told Deccan Herald that the Review Committee under Union Home Secretary G K  Pillai has  indeed given a go ahead for the lowering of the security cover of senior  politicians including UP Chief Minister Mayawati, former Railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and former Union Home minister Shivraj Patil and his relatives.

The Committee did not seek to change security status (NSG -Z plus) of Leader of Opposition L K Advani. 

In a bid to free the police force for duties relating to internal security, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has himself not accepted security , suiting his protocol status. Around 400 VIPs are being provided with the security cover in the National Capital.  
The latest recommendations of the review committee on the reduction of security were based on the intelligence reports on the threat perception, sources said. 

A different note
Striking a different note, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Thursday sought to assure MPs from BSP, SP and the BJP in the lower house that there will be no scaling down of the security cover.

Mukherjee said there will be no compromise on the security of the political leaders and even quoted the Prime Minister as saying that the security of Mayawati, SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad and Murli Manohar Joshi would remain unchanged.

“I checked up the position on the issue with the Home minister and he has assured me that he has not received the report of the review committee so far,” he said when BSP Member Dara Singh Chauhan asked that the Home minister should respond on the issue. The Finance minister said a decision would be taken keeping in view the concerns of the members. 

A similar assurance was also made in the Rajya Sabha.

Proceedings disrupted
In Lok Sabha, BSP members took up the issue as soon as the house met at 11 am, forcing Speaker Meira Kumar to adjourn the proceedings twice.

The assurance from the leader of the house (Pranab Mukherjee) in the house (when it re-assembled at 1400hrs ) cooled down the temperatures with the SP president walking upto Mukherjee and having a quick word with him.

With the deputy-speaker allowing agitated members to express their concerns one-after-another, normalcy was restored in the house which proceeded with a discussion on the women and child welfare.

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