Kolkata: After providing security cover to its MLAs citing the political violence in West Bengal after Assembly elections, the saffron party has withdrawn the central force protection of more than 100 party MLA and leaders and the Union Home Ministry have been informed about the decision.
According to a report by The Indian Express, the Bhartiya Janata Party took the decision after more than a dozen BJP MLAs refused to accept the protection, saying it would hurt the party’s public image. The MLAs said that the presence of gun-wielding security personnel around them was damaging the party’s people-friendly image.
As per reports, the MLAs of the saffron party addressed their concerns to the party high command explaining that presence of central forces while interacting with the common people of the state is tarnishing BJP’s image as Bengal voters have not witnessed any incident such as an elected representative roaming around with central force personnel around him or her. The visuals are the opposite of what Bengal has been following over the years.
After the conclusion of the West Bengal assembly elections, the Union Home Ministry had approved the cover after taking into cognisance a report prepared by central security agencies and the inputs of a high-level fact-finding team of officers that was sent to the state by the ministry in the wake of post-poll violence in the state, including that against the workers of the BJP.
Sixty-one MLAs out of the 77 were being covered under the lowest ‘X’ category and the commandos were drawn from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
The rest were either enjoying the central security cover or were covered under the next higher category of ‘Y’.
Fifty-year-old Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari is already a ‘Z’ category protectee of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).