As intelligence agencies get reports of terrorists and dons such as Dawood Ibrahim targeting politicians this poll season, home minister P. Chidambaram has written to chief ministers and leaders, urging them to play it safe.
“I request you to take adequate security precautions...and ensure that tour programmes are shared with authorities,’’ Chidambaram wrote in his letter to over 40 prominent political leaders on March 27. The same day, he cleared home secretary Madhukar Gupta’s extension to ensure continuity in security measures.
On March 28, HT had reported on the assessment that the threat perception to India’s political class was “very high”.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, BJP leaders L K Advani, Rajnath Singh and Narendra Modi, J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah, UP chief minister Mayawati, LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa were among the high-risk targets.
States have been told to maintain tight vigil at political rallies addressed by or having VVIP presence. If need be, the states have been advised to convince local leaders about security drills and arrangements to be put in place during the campaign, a security official said.
The Centre has also sent a list of do’s and don’ts, drawn up by security experts, to political leaders. For instance, politicians are understood to have been advised to be careful about the source of their food, people they come in proximity with, before and during rallies, ask them to keep their itinerary secret and not use security personnel for jobs other than official assignments.