Reacting angrily to reports that the government proposed to curtail security cover of VVIPs, including Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, the former ministers Wednesday said Home Minister P Chindambaram "will be responsible" if anything happens to them.
"There is a threat to my life. There is a threat to Lalu Prasad's life and you will be responsible if any attack takes place," former defence minister Mulayam Singh told Chidambaram in the Lok Sabha.
Former railways minister Lalu Prasad said, "If something happens, then he (Chidambaram) will be responsible."
The home ministry is reviewing the security given to VVIPs, and has suggested that the security status of senior politicians, like Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, former Bihar chief minister and Lalu Prasad's wife Rabri Devi and BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, should be downgraded. Elite National Security Guard personnel are presently guarding these politicians.
Home ministry officials have had three meetings so far to examine the security cover being given to 395 VIPs in the capital. Security cover may be either whittled down or completely removed for some of them. The final decision has to be taken by the home minister.
Samajwadi Party's Shailender Kumar raised the issue during zero hour of the Lok Sabha. Mulayam Singh then got up to protest against the proposed move.
"Security was provided for me after Ayodhya (1993 Babri Masjid demolition). I never asked for security myself. I have been attacked in Mumbai and Hyderabad even," he said.
SP and RJD members demanded a reply from the home minister, but he did not react. Speaker Meira Kumar said the issue was raised in the zero hour and, therefore, the minister could not be compelled to make a reply right away.