Former Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Saturday denied that former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had directed him to not provide additional security to then Urban Department Development Minister Eknath Shinde, who is now the Maharashtra chief minister.
“There were no instructions from the then chief minister that Eknath Shinde should not be provided security,” Walse-Patil told the media in Pune Saturday.
Walse-Patil was reacting to allegations by the Eknath Shinde faction that the Uddhav Thackeray-led government had refused to give security to Eknath Shinde.
“Eknath Shinde was provided adequate security. His son had given a letter requesting for “Z” plus security to Eknath Shinde. But Shinde had never sought security for himself. Following the threat received by him, Shinde’s security was stepped up,” Walse-Patil said.
“The decision to provide security is taken by an expert committee. After Eknath Shinde’s son gave the letter, we tightened his security. His security was equal to the one provided to the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister,” he added.
On Friday, MLAs of the Shinde faction, such as Suhas Kande and Dada Bhuse and former Minister of State for Home Shamburaj Desai, alleged that Eknath Shinde was not provided the required security despite threat from Naxals. The Chief Minister had, however, refused to comment on it. He just confirmed that he had received threats from Naxal organisations as he had carried out development works in the Naxal-affected areas.
Kande had said, “Eknath Shinde had felicitated those fighting against Naxals. After this, the Naxals conspired to kill him and even issued death threats. His son had then sought increased security for him. Uddhav Thackeray had denied him the security on the advice of NCP.”
Desai alleged that Thackeray was urged twice to provide “Z” plus security to Shinde, but it was not provided.
Like Walse-Patil, his colleague and former Minister of State for Home Satej Patil also denied the allegations that security for Eknath Shinde was not stepped up. “There is no question of denying additional security to Eknath Shinde. A committee headed by the Chief Secretary decides the issue of security. It is done after analysis of the security threat. Since Shinde was the guardian minister of the Naxal-infested Gadchiroli district, he was provided additional security,” Patil said.
Meanwhile, Nitesh Rane, son of Union Minister Narayan Rane, Saturday said he would also reveal how his father was denied security despite the threat to his life. “I will reveal it at an appropriate time,” Nitesh told a TV channel.