It’s not just mad rush for ‘red beacons’ among Congress workers in Uttarakhand. Also the demand for ‘gunners’ is equally soaring in the hill state. Bahuguna government is flooded with such applicants seeking ‘gunners’.
The erstwhile Congress government headed by ND Tiwari was liberal in doling out red beacons and gunners to the party workers. However the present Congress Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna giving second thought to such demands.
“I have so far received more than 500 applications requesting for gunners but I am not for distributing gunners on the cost of exchequers money” told CM Bahuguna to Hindustan Times on Friday.
Nonetheless sources say among applicants for gunners, many are Congress leaders. Considered as status symbol among the political class, gunners are in high demand in the hill state despite the fact that majority of the applicant does not face any threat.
A Congress leader Ram Kumar Walia who enjoyed red beacon position in the Tiwari government has been seeking both red beacon and gunner.
“So far I have been allotted a gunner” said elated Walia.
As per rules one gets gunner after verification from the local intelligence unit and police about the life threat. CM accepts he has been receiving several recommendations for gunners.
“I am assessing whether one really faces life threat. So far I have okayed only 15 gunners” CM Bahuguna, who also holds home ministry added.
On an average a gunner costs anything between Rs 20-25 thousands per month to the police department. Usually leaders appointed either as chairman, vice chairman or members in various committees or boards are entitled for gunner.