Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Monday that adequate security arrangements were in place for BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
His statement comes amid demands for giving the Gujarat Chief Minister the elite Special Protection Group (SPG) cover that is usually provided to serving and former Prime Ministers and their families.
Mr. Shinde was replying to journalists who asked him about the possibility of reviewing Mr. Modi’s security arrangements. Mr. Modi currently enjoys ‘Z-plus’ security, under which he is guarded by specially-trained commandos of the National Security Guard (NSG).
Mr. Shinde refused to divulge details about the ongoing investigation into the blasts in Bihar on Sunday. “It will be premature to say anything now,” he said.
He also declined to comment on reports that the Intelligence Bureau had alerted the Bihar police last week that Mr. Modi could be “targeted by rabid groups” following the Muzaffarnagar riots and the arrest of Indian Mujahideen founder Yasin Bhatkal.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to amend the SPG Act to extend its security cover to “principal candidates for the post of Prime Minister in the elections in 2014.” He feared that Mr. Modi could be targeted in Congress-ruled States because of his continuing tirade against the party’s vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
Meanwhile, prominent Muslim outfit Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has said that Sunday’s blasts could be the handiwork of communal forces to disturb communal harmony ahead of the elections. It cautioned the people against falling prey to the designs of such forces.