| A securityman checks a minister’s vehicle at the Assembly on Thursday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Patna, Feb. 21: Leader of the Opposition Abdul Bari Siddiqui’s decision to remove his personal security personnel has irked most ministers, who today accused him of resorting to a “gimmick”.
In a letter to Nitish Kumar yesterday following the chief minister’s claim that law and order situation in the state was good, Siddiqui appraised him about the decision. Altogether 15 security personnel, including an escort team of five personnel, were provided to the RJD leader, who enjoys the rank of a cabinet minister.
“Nitish should also remo-ve his security personnel and set an example. If law and order in the state is good, then I do not think there is any need of security guards,” Siddiqui told The Telegraph today.
RJD chief whip Samrat Chaudhary has removed his security personnel on the lines of Siddiqui, but most ministers refused to do so.
Schedule caste and schedule tribe welfare minister Jitan Ram Manjhi said: “ I do not welcome Siddiqui’s decision. It is important for VIPs to have adequate security personnel. It is beyond doubt that the law and order situation has improved and people have started feeling safe. But if a minister gets a privilege, why should one deny that? ”
Animal and fish resources minister Giriraj Singh accused Siddiqui of reaping political mileage by removing the security personnel. “I know why he was removed his security personnel. He will engineer stone pelting on his house and then blame us for threat to his life,” he added.
Road construction department minister Nand Kishore Yadav said: “Why do I need to follow him? I will continue with my security cover.”
Cooperative minister Ramdhar Singh, who is from Aurangabad district, said. “My area is a stronghold of the Maoists and there are threats to my life. I need bodyguards.”
Several MLAs, on the other hand, appeared happy following relaxation of security at the entrance of the Assembly. There was no intensive security check at both gates of the House and the lawmakers’ SUVs were allowed to move ahead following checks by under-vehicle search mirrors.
RJD MLA Dinesh Kumar Singh, who had challenged security personnel by taking four liquor bottles in the Assembly premises, said: “This is called democracy. My continuous effort with the change in security norms has finally yielded results.”