According to the Home Ministry, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav will no longer enjoy the protection by the black cat commandos of the National Security Guard. He is set to lose the top security cover that only two other ex-CM’s, apart from him, are favoured with. He will, however, continue to get the state police cover.
The former CMs are Akhilesh’s father Mulayam Singh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati.
The decision was reportedly taken after a comprehensive review of VIP protectees by the Home Ministry. Sources said the decision to withdraw the NSG cover of the Samajwadi Party (SP) president was based on the assessment of threat perception.
A team of about 22 NSG commandos, armed with sophisticated weapons, who had been deputed with Akhilesh Yadav as part of his security cover will be now called back soon after the official orders are received by the force.
The former UP CM was accorded the Z plus category VIP security cover in 2012 during the UPA regime at the Centre.
The central Home ministery has also decided to scale down the security covers of two dozen other VVIPs too.
This jolt comes after the Samajwadi chief suffered defeat in the recent national election, in which his ‘Mahagathbandhan’ with Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh failed miserably, yielding only five seats for him in the state that has 80 seats.
Last year on August 20, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has stayed the proposal of former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to construct a heritage hotel at Vikramaditya Marg, a high-security zone. The Court had then observed that allowing such construction will compromise the region’s security.
Prior to this, in another similar setback, Akhilesh Yadav was asked by the Supreme Court to vacate the official residence of the CM of UP where the SP chief was living with his family. However, setting a new example of ‘socialism’, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and current president of Samajwadi Party, left his government accommodation in ruins after he was asked to vacate the same.
Recently, the newly-elected Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, had also curbed former CM N Chandrababu Naidu’s Z+ category security cover and scaled it down to ‘Y’ with 2+2 armed gunmen.