Modi being targeted,up his security: BJP to govt

Govt says adequate protection given; Cong says demand a political gimmick.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: November 7, 2013 3:45:17 am

Escalating its fears over the safety of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi,the BJP Wednesday urged the government not to play politics with the Gujarat chief minister’s security and demanded he be given adequate protection.

The BJP’s appeal came a day after its parliamentary board passed a resolution faulting both the Centre and Bihar for having been “grossly negligent” in providing adequate security to Modi in the light of the serial blasts in Patna on October 27.

The board had also demanded the Centre provide Modi adequate security without being biased due to “political and collateral considerations”.

However,in its response,the government Wednesday claimed adequate security has been given to Modi while the ruling Congress scoffed at the demand as a political gimmick.

“We cannot do politics on terror,” BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said.

“The country has lost two prime ministers due to terrorism and we should learn lessons from this. We hope the Centre will take note of the threat to Narendra Modi and not do politics on the issue of security. We demand that Modi be provided adequate security,” he said.

Asked what kind of security the BJP wants for Modi,Javadekar said: “Government knows what should be done.”

His comments were a reaffirmation of the parliamentary board’s resolution.

“The BJP demands that the government take all necessary steps to provide adequate security to Narendra Modi. Besides being a chief minister,Modi is the party’s candidate for the office of prime minister,” the board had said in a statement late on Tuesday.

“His security is the responsibility of the Central government. The BJP hopes that the Central government will not undermine Modi’s security based on political and collateral considerations,” it had said.

The board had highlighted the alleged lapses in the intelligence and security arrangements for Modi’s rally in Patna. It called the serial blasts an “attempt to liquidate BJP leaders present at the rally” and a “failed attempt to intimidate the BJP” ahead of elections.

The blasts were also an “attack on Indian democracy”,the board had said,and alleged that the Centre and the Bihar government were in denial over the challenges of terror.

“It is disturbing that despite this monumental failure,the Centre and the state government are not apologetic and continue to be in denial over the security failure. The Patna fiasco indicates that if governments are soft on terror,such disaster will result. No alibi given by the Bihar government is adequate to absolve it of the guilt of gross negligence,” the board said in its resolution.

Minister of State for Home R P N Singh,however,brushed aside the BJP’s apprehensions and claimed Modi had already been provided enough security. He accused the BJP of engaging in politics over the issue.

“Whatever security is required,we have given to Modi. We have given him NSG security which is very high level of security. We have also ordered conducting advance security drill before his visit to any place,” Singh said.

Ruling out extending Special Protection Group security to Modi,Singh said SPG protection is given only to the Prime Minister,former prime ministers and their immediate family members.

“BJP knows this fact but is trying to do politics in the name of Modi’s security,” Singh said.

The Congress went a step further and took a dig at the BJP over the issue.

“Modi already has Z-plus security. Now they are demanding that he be provided PM-level security. What can we say if he wants to look like the PM without becoming the PM?” Congress spokesperson Meem Afzal told reporters.

Afzal said the Congress’s prime ministerial candidate Rajiv Gandhi had much less security ahead of the 1991 elections than Modi has now.

“How much security did Rajiv Gandhi have? He was a former prime minister,” Afzal said. “He (Modi) went to the public meeting with 1,000 police personnel,100 inspectors went,12 DSP/DIG-level officers went from Gujarat. How much money of the Gujarat government is being spent on his security?”

“The entire party is talking about the security of one person from morning to evening. In Patna,they continued the meeting even after the blasts. Today,they are saying a bomb could have been placed even under the dais. Then why did they continue the meeting? We never raised these questions. I am not raising a question even now,but we are being forced to do that since they are talking like this,” Afzal said.

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