When Arvind Kejriwal became Delhi’s chief minister for the first time in 2013, whole two weeks were spent on debating and discussing his residence and security cover. This time around, the AAP is wiser. The party is hoping to resolve these issues with as little controversy as possible. Senior AAP leaders said while Kejriwal will require a new residence as Chief Minister — he currently lives in a flat allotted to his wife, an IRS officer — Z-plus security was a complete no-no.
On Wednesday, a team of the Delhi Police and Ghaziabad Police met the CM-designate to review his security. Senior AAP leaders said Z-plus category security was offered to him and Kejriwal turned it down.
“There will be no Z-plus security,” senior leader Ashutosh said. Others, however, said his present security arrangement, which includes Delhi Police officers, may be expanded because of “crowd control issues”.
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“But it must be made clear that Z-plus security has been ruled out. We have been told that this will have to be officially conveyed to the Home Ministry and that will be done,” a senior leader said.
However, till the time Kejriwal stays at his Kaushambi residence, security will be enhanced around the apartment. “A crowd management plan as well as steps required for smooth movement of his convoy have been finalised. In addition to this, whichever government gives us intelligence alerts, we will act accordingly,” Kapil Singh, city magistrate, said.
SP (City) Vipin Tada said a comprehensive security plan is being finalised for Kejriwal. Deployment of security personnel outside Kejriwal’s Kaushambi residence will be increased and CCTV cameras are being installed around the apartment, he said.
On the matter of a house for the new CM, party leaders said Kejriwal will move into a “home similar to the one he lived in during his 49-day tenure”.
“The house will be a similar one. The one in Tilak Marg, where he lived the last time, is occupied by an IRS officer. We will not take a bungalow and this has been stated in the manifesto,” a leader said.
The party’s manifesto promises that no MLA would travel in a car with a red beacon, would not accept “excessive security” or an “expansive bungalow”.