The BJP and the Congress-led UPA were at war again on Wednesday, trading charges over the security cover for the opposition party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
BJP leaders hold hand while standing on the stage during a rally at Gandhi Maidan in Patna. (HT Photo)
The BJP accused not just the Bihar government but also the Centre of negligence in the Patna serial blasts, a charge promptly rejected by the home ministry that insisted Modi’s security was adequate.
A series of bombs went off at Modi’s rally venue and nearby areas on October 27, killing seven people, including an alleged bomber. There have been reports that the Gujarat CM faces threat from Sikh separatist groups and Islamist militants.
The BJP called the Patna blasts an attempt to liquidate BJP leaders, and charged the Centre and the state with being “grossly negligent” in the security arrangements.
Minister of state for home RPN Singh reminded the BJP about laxity in security to Rajiv Gandhi when he was out of power that eventually cost the former prime minister’s life. "But we are not doing like that,” he said.
The BJP was careful not to ask for security cover by the Special Protection Group but it came close. “Besides being a chief minister Mr Modi is the party’s candidate for the office of the prime minister. His security is the responsibility of the central government,” the BJP’s parliamentary board said in a resolution.
The SPG is a specialised VIP security force with personnel drawn from the Indian Police Service, paramilitary force and state police. The SPG only secures the prime minister, former PMs and their families.
Modi’s security is the responsibility of the Gujarat Police with a contingent of the National Security Guard providing him proximate security cover.
The home ministry said the BJP was blatantly trying to politicise security of political protectees. "We have already given adequate security to Narendra Modi. Whatever security is required, we have given to Modi," RPN Singh said.
"There is a law in the country. SPG is given according to the country's law. Modi is already having NSG cover,” home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on the sidelines of a BSF function in West Bengal.
Video: No SPG protection for Modi, his security adequate, says RPN Singh