Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has always been worried about her own security, but in a drastic move has ordered reduction in the special security cover to a number of her own ministers as well as several "VIPs".
The list includes 13 ministers and 77 other VIPs, among whom there are also a few officers of the Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service.
While in some cases the security has been completely withdrawn, in others, the scale of security has been brought down. This decision was taken late on Thursday night.
From 107 persons entitled to 'X' and 'Y' levels of security cover, there are only 77 in the list now.
According to an official spokesman: "Those entitled to 'Z-Plus' and 'Z' level security have not been touched."
Significantly, even those believed to be close to Mayawati have not been spared. These include ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) general secretary Akhilesh Das, and ministers like Anant Kumar Misra, Daddu Prasad, Rakeshdhar Tripathi, Thakur Jaiveer Singh, Rajesh Tripathi, Rang Nath Misra, Yograj Singh, Ram Achal Rajhbhar, Shahjil Islam Ansari, Rajpal Tyagi and Badshah Singh.
The security of a large number of BSP leaders, including several MPs and legislators, entrusted with chairmanship of public undertakings has also been pruned or withdrawn.
Even a few criminal turned politicians have been stripped of their security cover. These include mafia don turned MP Mukhtar Ansari, former minister Hari Shankar Tiwari, his son Vinay Shankar Tiwari and nephew Bhishma Shankar Tiwari, a sitting BSP MP.