Swaraj accuses PC of letter leak
A day after BJP leader Sushma Swaraj attacked P. Chidambaram for a “lackadaisical” attitude on Varun Gandhi’s security, the home minister dismissed the allegation saying the 29-year-old had been provided “adequate protection taking into account inputs of intelligence agencies”. Shekhar Iyer reports.india Updated: Jul 09, 2009 01:37 IST
A day after BJP leader Sushma Swaraj attacked P. Chidambaram for a “lackadaisical” attitude on Varun Gandhi’s security, the home minister dismissed the allegation saying the 29-year-old had been provided “adequate protection taking into account inputs of intelligence agencies”.
Chidambaram added that the government was ready to discuss the security given to Varun Gandhi but such sensitive matters could not be discussed in an open forum. He would talk to her in confidence, he wrote to Swaraj.
Swaraj, however, was upset his letter reached the media. She accused him of leaking it while requesting her to keep it a secret.
“If Chidambaram wanted to keep security arrangements made for Varun a secret then why did he leak it? I did not tell the press about it but now that it has been made public, I will be cornered to reveal details of my meeting with Chidambaram whenever it takes place,” she said.
Swaraj said she had shown the letter only to senior party leader L K Advani.
Meanwhile, within the BJP, senior leaders appeared divided on the issue. Some said the party was getting dragged into the matter.
The row arose after Maneka Gandhi wrote to the PM after six men, allegedly of the Chhota Shakeel gang, were held in the Capital for plotting to kill Varun’s lawyer.
Maneka accused the government of not taking the threat to her son’s life seriously. “The home ministry has taken these threats very casually; it is as if you want Varun Gandhi to be killed,” she wrote.
Varun Gandhi also wrote to the home minister, asking him to enhance his security as he feared a threat to his life from the gang of Chota Shakeel.
A senior BJP leader, however, discussed the matter with Delhi Police officials who informed him their probe showed the men were not targeting Varun but one of his lawyers.
According to the ministry, Varun has special Y category protectee security (three PSOs round the clock, one escort and a pilot vehicle). Chidambaram said the government had acted on his letter of March 20.