The Bihar government has expressed its inability to meet Gujarat's request to provide a bullet-resistant SUV to its chief minister and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for his less than three-hour stay during the party's Hunkar rally in Patna on October 27.
Gujarat has now decided to move its bullet-resistant SUV from New Delhi via Jhansi.
In response to Gujarat's request, the Bihar government had offered a bullet-resistant ambassador car. However, top Gujarat police officials indicated Modi's preference for a bullet-resistant SUV, which its Bihar counterparts declined.
The reason behind denial, said top government sources, was Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar's two-day tour to Rajgir, 98 km south of Patna, in Nalanda district. The Janata Dal-United is holding its 'chintan shivir' (brainstorming camp) at Rajgir on October 28 and 29.
Bihar has only two bullet-resistant SUVs and 25 such ambassador cars. However, both SUVs are part of the CM's cavalcade.
Additional director-general (headquarters) Raveendra Kumar told HT: "Since Modi is a Z-plus protectee, a bullet-resistant car would be given to him." Asked about Gujarat's desire for an SUV, Kumar said: "I have not seen any such request (letter)."
The verbal request from Gujarat was made during initial telephonic deliberations between senior officers of the two states early this week.
Factory made bullet-resistant SUVs, are far more superior to retrofitted ones, as in case of ambassador cars. The ones made on assembly line have higher torque and can rev up faster than retrofitted ambassadors. Due to the heavy steel plating, a bullet-resistant SUV weighs 1.5 tonne as against the normal weight of 700 kg.
Seeing Bihar's reluctance, Gujarat even enquired if it should get jammers for negating remote control explosive device and bullet-resistant lectern. Bihar, however, indicated it would have those in place.