Mr. Shinde said that it was the "duty" of the government and the Home Ministry to take care of the security of VVIPs and others based on threat perception.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Friday disclosed that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was being provided security by the Central government “without his knowledge and despite his repeated rejection of it.” Mr. Shinde was speaking to reporters during his monthly press briefing.
Asked about providing security to the AAP leader in the wake of the attack on the party head office in Kaushambi (Ghaziabad) recently, Mr. Shinde said that it was the “duty” of the government and the Home Ministry to take care of the security of VVIPs and others based on threat perception. Mr. Shinde said security agencies had asked Mr. Kejriwal thrice and he refused twice. Even so, the Delhi Police Commissioner had spoken to the Ghaziabad Superintendent of Police to provide security to the Chief Minister as he lives in his area and also because the AAP headquarters is located there. The Delhi Police are under the Central government as Delhi has not been accorded full statehood.
“I face no threat”
Mr. Kejriwal, who was simultaneously addressing a press meet to announce the launching of a nationwide free membership drive, declared that there was no threat to his life.
“I have a long life-line, I do not need security,” he said displaying his palm to journalists when asked about the offer of ‘Z’ security by the Uttar Pradesh government.
The State’s offer came in the wake of Wednesday’s attack over AAP leader Prashant Bhushan’s remark suggesting a referendum in Kashmir on the Army’s presence.
The Chief Minister declared that in the first phase, the party was targeting a membership of one crore citizens by January 26. “We have devised five easy ways for people to join the party and the Rs. 10 membership fee has been scrapped,” Mr. Kejriwal said.
The membership drive would be through the party website, through SMS, missed calls, a door-to-door drive and through voter ID cards.
In fact, in the first three hours of his announcement, 47,500 people logged on to the AAP website for membership and 1,950 registered through mobile phones.
Answering questions, Mr. Kejriwal said television journalist Asutosh was joining the party but he was not sure if activist Medha Patkar would come. Ms. Patkar had been sounded by Yogendra Yadav but she had not made up her mind yet.
On former colleague and IPS officer Kiran Bedi’s support for the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Mr. Kejriwal said: “What can I say? It is a free country.” AAP leaders Gopal Rai and Pankaj Gupta said only one membership request would be allowed from a particular mobile number.