Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal on Thursday announced that the Vidhan Bhavan or the State legislature building was on the terror hit-list, while responding to questions on heightened security on the opening day of the budget session.
The security at the Vidhan Bhavan was at the maximum with cars being stopped at the gate and all those entering, including Ministers, walking the short distance up to the main entrance.
Mr. Bhujbal was responding to a host of questions from the Shiv Sena and other Members of the Legislative Council (MLCs) in the Upper House. Some of the legislators could not even take their laptops inside, said Neelam Gorhe of the Shiv Sena.
Earlier in the day, Home Minister R.R. Patil told television channels that security was stepped up everywhere and it was routine.
However, Vinod Tawde of the Bharatiya Janata Party asked Mr. Bhujbal about the contradiction in security perceptions.
One senior Minister was saying the steps were part of routine precautions while another was saying the Vidhan Bhavan was on the hit-list, Mr. Tawde pointed out.
In reply, Vasant Davkhare, deputy chairperson of the Legislative Council, clarified that a number of sensitive installations were under threat and the Vidhan Bhavan was one of them.
Mumbai Police Commissioner D. Sivanandhan said security was tightened after a “usual alert” and not a terror alert.