India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often spoken against VIP culture and had vowed to do away with it. However, his government is providing special security to around 475 people. The previous Congress-led government had provided special security to 350 people, 125 less than the present government.
Modi government is providing special security even to people like Baba Ramdev, Mata Aamritanandamayi, Sakshi Maharaj and Mahant Nrityagopal.
However, senior officers said the government is looking at reviewing and trimming the list soon.
Bihar politician Lalu Yadav who is guarded by both the elite National Security Guard (NSG) and the paramilitary CRPF, is no more a lawmaker. Therefore, he is no more eligible to get the Z security, as he doesn’t get fit in the recent criteria of government.
NDTV reported that the security requirement for former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh of the BJP as well as M Karunanidhi, the 93-year-old leader of Tamil Nadu party the DMK, who is ill and barely moves out of his home is also being reviewed.
Special security is provided by the Centre and state governments under several categories ranging from X to Z plus based on a threat perception that the government assesses from time to time.
So yoga teacher Baba Ramdev and Spiritual leader Mata Aamritanandamayi get Z security, while Mahant Nritya Gopal Das who is the chairman of Ram Janmabhoomi Shrine Board along with controversial lawmaker Sakshi Maharaj is protected under the Y category. In addition to this, the children of at least 15 politicians were given NSG guard including Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh, who is a first time lawmaker.
NSG officials say that at least 15 politicians are guarded by its black cat commandos. The CRPF protects almost 75 VVIPS along with BJP President Amit Shah and Minister of Road and Transport Nitin Gadkari, reported NDTV.
Mukesh Ambani, the country's richest man pays for Z category security for himself, and Y category for his wife Neeta Ambani.