With the Maharashtra government downgrading ex-CM Devendra Fadnavis' security to Z-plus security to Y-plus security on Sunday, Fadnavis called it politically motivated. He said that while he had used the security only after getting threats as the CM, now he was the one living amongst people. The Thackeray government has also removed the bulletproof vehicle allotted to Fadnavis, along with reducing the security cover.
"I never asked for security even when I was state president. I got it for the first time when I became CM & when I got threats after Yakub Memon's death sentence & other instances. I feel it should be given based on threat perception," said Fadnavis adding, " Currently, it's being given on political basis. Few people don't have threat perception but are given strong security."
The Thackeray government reduced security to 13 people including Fadnavis, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, BJP’s state unit chief Chandrakant Patil, BJP leader Ram Naik, Union MInister Ramdas Athawale and Shiv Sena leader Deepak Kesarkar. Moreover, the government has upped the security of Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, Congress leader Shatrughna Sinha, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s wife Sunetra and Yuva Sena secretary Varun Sardesai - to name a few. The government has stated that the decision was done 'based on the threat perception to the leaders'.
In a similar move, the Centre had scaled down the security cover to the Gandhis passing the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The new SPG Bill states that only the Prime Minister of the country and the family that resides with him immediately will be given SPG security. The 2019 Bill also states that a former Prime Minister will be provided SPG cover only for a period of five years after he or she leaves the office - stripping SPG security to the late PM Rajiv Gandhi family - Sonia, Rahul, and Priyanka. This means that only Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be under SPG cover currently.
The Thackeray govt has been undoing several moves by the previous Fadnavis government - including the Mumbai Metro 3 car shed, Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train and Fadnavis' dream project Jal Yukt Shivar. The scheme which has not been renewed since December 2019, recently came under flak by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for its limited impact inspite of its Rs 9633.75 crore spending. Meanwhile, the Aarey Metro Car shed, which was being shifted to Kanjurmarg has been caught up in litigation. The Bullet Train, PM Modi's dream project, has been left with no progress with the majority of the land not yet acquired.