The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has downgraded the security cover of several important Opposition leaders.
Those whose cover has been reduced include Samajwadi Party chief and former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, leaders Shivpal Yadav and Azam Khan, Dimple Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav, and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, said reports.
However, BJP leader Vinay Katiyar has been provided Z-degree security cover. Adityanath's security has also been increased following inputs of a terror threat to him.
The decision was taken late on Saturday, said reports, following a meeting of UP Principal Secretary (Home), ADG Intelligence, ADG Security and new UP DGP Sulkhan Singh. The order came into effect immediately.
So far, the Adityanath government has downgraded security cover of 46 VIPs, and done away completely with that of 105 others.
Among those who totally lost their security is BSP national general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Satish Chandra Mishra.
Former state chief secretary Alok Ranjan and two SP MLCs, Ashu Malik and Atul Pradhan, have also lost their security, said reports.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had earlier said that ‘those who are enjoying security cover for the sake of status symbol should be prepared to part with them.
The move comes as a further step in the BJP government’s move to do away with VIP culture, after a Modi government order to remove red beacons from vehicles of VIPs.