All the newly elected 77 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs in West Bengal are being provided security cover by central paramilitary forces in view of potential threats to them, official sources said on Monday. They said the Members of the Legislative Assembly will be secured by armed commandos of the CISF and the CRPF.
The Union Home Ministry has approved the cover after taking into cognisance a report prepared by central security agencies and the inputs of a high-level fact-finding team of officers that were sent to the state by the ministry in the wake of post-poll violence in the state, including that against the workers of the BJP, they said. Sixty-one MLAs out of the 77 will be covered under the lowest 'X' category and the commandos will be drawn from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), as per fresh orders of the MHA, they said.
The rest are either enjoying the central security cover or will be covered under the next higher category of 'Y'. Fifty-year-old Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari is already a 'Z' category protectee of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), they said. "These persons face a potential threat in the wake of post polls scenario in the state and hence they need to be secured," a senior officer said.
A number of other candidates, including some turncoats, who contested the assembly polls from the BJP ticket will also continue to have the central security cover for some more time, they said. The BJP has emerged as the main opposition party in the state, winning 77 seats in the 294-member House in the recently concluded polls where the TMC led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee formed the government. While there can be 3-4 armed commandos under the 'X' category, the configuration increases to 6-7 under the 'Y' cover and the 'Z' category brings in about 6-9 commandos for the protected.
Both the CISF and the CRPF have specialised VIP security units in their establishment and they collectively provide security to over 140 personalities, ranging from central ministers, MPs, and senior bureaucrats.