Shiv Sena’s Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and Members of Parliament (MPs) followed party executive president Uddhav Thackeray and offered to surrender government-provided security to protest Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s threat to withdraw Uddhav’s ‘Z’ category security.
Uddhav had, on Tuesday, said he was surrendering his government security after Chavan said that he would not hesitate to take away Uddhav’s security if the Sena continued with violent protests against the film, My Name Is Khan.
“My security should be provided to [26/11 terrorist Ajmal] Kasab,” Uddhav said on Wednesday.
Sena chief Bal Thackeray and Uddhav have had a high level state security for several years. “People of the state want khana [food] while the Congress government wants Khan [referring to actor Shah Rukh Khan],” said Uddhav. “If they want, they can transfer my security cover to Kasab.”
Sanjay Raut, Sena MP and party spokesperson said, “All MPs and MLAs have written to the state government and Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha speakers about surrendering their security cover. If they [the government] cannot provide security to our leader then we also don’t need it.”
The Sena has, meanwhile, deputed groups of Sainiks to guard Matoshree. Many Sainiks stood guard outside Matoshree on Tuesday night.
“We have 227 shakhas [local party units] in the city and each will provide 10 Sainiks to guard Saheb [Thackeray],” said Sena MLA Prakash Sawant.
The state government withdrew Sawant’s security and that of Jogeshwari MLA Ravindra Waikar and Member of Legislative Council Anil Parab on Monday, for their involvement in the protests against Rahul Gandhi during his recent visit to Mumbai.