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No security downgrade for politicians: Govt


Meetu Jain,CNN-IBN
Jul 24, 2009 at 04:02pm IST

New Delhi: Gun-toting policemen and the beacon on your car announces one has arrived in life. If there is one issue that unites politicians across party lines, it is the police paraphernalia. And this is why decibel levels rose in Parliament following reports of a security downgrade for certain politicians.

Leading from the front were the big guns of yesteryears and they all gave ominous warnings in the Lok Sabha. “If anything happens to me the Home Minister will be held responsible,” SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav warned.

Thursday was act 2 of the political drama unfolding in both the Houses. BSP chief Mayawati's men raised a din saying that the UP Chief Minister's NSG cover was being withdrawn.

North block is aiming for a security downgrade of at least 100 leaders as soon as Parliament adjourns in August. Politicians who are likely to get a security downgrade are Shivraj Patil and family, Ram Vilas Paswan, Natwar Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi, Lalu Prasad, Amar Singh and Mulayam Singh Yadav.

But the Centre was not expecting angry reactions from the politicians. The repeated adjournments resulted in the PMO and the Home Ministry buckling under pressure.

“Government is deeply concerned about the security of all political leaders. I assure the House that the security provided to political parties mentioned in notices will not be reduced,” Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha K Rehman Khan said.

A committee on VIP security has suggested that VIP's pay for their own security on the lines of CISF security for private installations. Experts suggest VIP security should be handed over to a dedicated force and not the CISF or NSG.

Ahead of the Indo-US deal last year, security was provided overnight to RLD chief Ajit Singh and his party members without an IB report in the hope they would support the Government. Amar Singh's security was upgraded to Z plus after his party's support to the deal.

In theory security is provided to a VIP on the basis of his position and the threat he faces. But security is often provided on the basis of a politician’s clout, his potential as a troublemaker and as the nation saw in the House on Thursday even his decibel levels.

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