Union Minister SP Singh Baghel gets Z category after convoy attack
New Delhi, Feb 16: The Union government has accorded the central VIP security cover of armed paramilitary commandos to close to two dozen BJP leaders in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, including the "Z" category security cover to Union minister S P S Baghel, the party candidate against SP chief Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh, officials said on Wednesday.
He got the central government's armed security cover on February 11.
Some of the protectees will have the central cover over and above their state police security. The Union home ministry has tasked the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to render the task. Both the paramilitary forces have their exclusive VIP security wings of commandos, who possess sophisticated close-protection weapons.
Besides Baghel, the other prominent name among those accorded "Z" category security is BJP MP from Delhi and singer Hans Raj Hans.
Baghel is contesting the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls against the Samajwadi Party (SP) chief from the Karhal seat.
Baghel's convoy was "attacked by Samajwadi Party goons" in Mainpuri district's Karhal where he is pitted against Akhilesh Yadav.
Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya claimed that with this "attack" on the Union minister, who is also the BJP's candidate, the Samajwadi Party chief has "ensured his defeat".
The exact detail of the incident was not available.
Also, BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh's Bhadohi Lok Sabha seat Ramesh Chand Bind has been granted the smaller "X" category of CISF cover in his state. The CRPF has been asked to provide security to at least 20 politicians or candidates in these two states.
From Punjab, the names include Sukhwinder Singh Bindra, SAD (Sanyukt) leader and party candidate Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Avtar Singh Zira. They have been accorded smaller categories of security ranging from "Y" to "Y+", sources said. They said these latest security extensions will be reviewed after the counting of votes on March 10. Punjab will vote in a single phase on February 20, while Uttar Pradesh will see seven phases of polling, the last phase being on March 7.