No Compromise on Leaders’ Security: Pranab

With the Opposition disrupting proceedings in both the Houses, over reports of a governmental mull over reduction in the security cover provided to several key leaders, finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, assured the Lok Sabha on Thursday that there would be “no compromise on the security of leaders.”

A similar assurance was also made in the upper house, Rajya Sabha, which was adjourned soon after it began the day’s proceedings.

Speaking in the Lok Sabha Minister Mukherjee said:  “On the security of the leaders, there will be no compromise.” 

Attempting to calm the Opposition benches, parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal iterated that there would be “no reduction in the security” provided to BSP leader and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, RJD president Lalu Prasad and BJP’s Murli Manohar Joshi.

In the Lok Sabha, BSP parliamentarians took up the issue as the house commenced proceedings at around 1100 hours. The members ran towards Speaker Meira Kumar’s podium and raised slogans against the government over reports of a possible curb on the Z-plus security cover provided to Mayawati.

The Speaker adjourned the House for half-an-hour after her requests to raise the matter during zero hour failed to calm the members.

Chaos ruled even after the house re-assembled.

Seeking a reply from home minister, P Chidambaram, BSP leader Dara Singh Chauhan said: “The government is planning to scale down the security provided to Mayawati” 

Mukherjee, also the leader of the House said: “I checked up the position on the issue with the home minister and he has assured me that he has not received the report of review committee so far.”

“It is a periodic exercise to review security. The review committee report has not reached him and the government will take a decision after taking (into account) the concerns of the members of the house and the persons concerned,” he stressed amid a continuing BSP protest.

Adding to the ruckus, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said: “The name of party leader Murli Manhohar Joshi who led ‘ekta yatra’ against terrorism to Kashmir also figured in the list of persons whose security will be downscaled.”

After Swaraj’s speech, BJP MPs joined the chorus and the House was adjourned till noon.

When it reconvened, continuing slogan shouting forced the third adjournment of the day, when it again met at 2pm, disruptions continued till the government made a statement on the issue.

Mukherjee’s assurance had a substantial effect on the members and the din subsided..

According to reports, home ministry officials have held three meetings to review the security cover provided to 395 VIPs in the national capital. Home minister Chidambaram has the final say on curbs or withdrawal of the security cover to these leaders.

The matter also came up on Wednesday, with Lalu Prasad and Mulayam Singh registering protest against the move.

The Rajya Sabha was also adjourned over the issue.

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