Former Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil on Saturday denied the allegation that Eknath Shinde wasn’t provided adequate security when the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government was in power.
Then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray never gave any instruction not to upgrade Shinde’s security, he said, speaking to reporters in Pune.
Rebel Shiv Sena MLAs from Shinde’s camp, including former Minister of State for Home Shambhuraj Desai, claimed on Friday that despite Shinde getting a threat from naxals, he was not given the highest ‘Z-plus’ security cover as Thackeray did not allow it.
“The decision about security cover is taken by a special committee. A Z-level security had been provided to then deputy Chief Minister, Home Minister and Eknath Shinde,” Walse-Patil said.
“When Shinde received a threatening letter, strict orders were given to the police department as well as Thane Police (to take necessary action). So this controversy about Shinde’s security is unnecessary,” the Nationalist Congress Party leader added.
Shinde, now Maharashtra chief minister, was ‘guardian minister’ for the naxal-affected Gadchiroli district besides being minister for Urban Development in the Thackeray government.
“Chief minister Thackeray never instructed us that Eknath Shinde should not be given security. In fact the police department took utmost care of Shinde’s security,” Walse-Patil added.
He also said that while Shinde never asked for additional security, his son had submitted a letter requesting Z-plus security for the senior Sena leader.
“When he received a threat letter, adequate security was provided to Shinde,” the former home minister added.
Elsewhere, NCP chief Sharad Pawar too told reporters that Shinde had Z-level security cover which continues.
“Providing security does not come under the cabinet’s purview. A committee headed by the chief secretary, home secretary and other senior officials takes decisions,” said Pawar whose party was part of the Thackeray-led coalition government.
“Walse Patil told me that Shinde had Z-level security and also additional police protection as he was guardian minister of Gadchiroli,” he added.