Black Cat commandos will continue to protect leaders like Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and her predecessor Mulayam Singh Yadav, for now.
The government on Thursday promised not to reduce security after the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) members blocked proceedings in both the Houses against the home ministry’s move to scale down security of their leaders.
“The government will not compromise with the security of leaders of political parties,” Pranab Mukherjee, Leader of the House said in the Lok Sabha after it was adjourned thrice.
In the Rajya Sabha that was adjourned twice, Minister of State Prithviraj Chavan was more categoric. “I assure the House that security provided to the leaders of political parties mentioned in the notice will not be reduced.”
The BSP members had trooped into the well of the two Houses, raising slogans. The BJP, too, joined the chorus in Joshi’s support, forcing the government to initially distance itself from the proposal.
In a security review, a home ministry panel had called for doing away with the National Security Guard cover for Mayawati, Mulayam and former rail minister Lalu Prasad.
Thursday’s assurance, however, does not completely rule out the possibility of replacing the NSG men with other paramilitary commandos later this year without downgrading their security.