Mumbai: In the backdrop of Maharashtra government's decision to scale down police security to politicians and their families, Minister of State for Home, Ram Shinde today said the move will free nearly 200 personnel, who shall now be assigned duties demanding greater attention.
"After the special committee's report to downsize unnecessary security for politicians, a total of 197 police personnel can now divert their attention towards urgent issues. Out of 197, 24 (policemen) are of API and PSI ranks, 28 are of head constable rank, 107 police constables and 28 personnel of PCD rank," Shinde told PTI.
"The state government is very serious regarding the safety of women and senior citizens of Maharashtra. We do not want a situation where a politician, who does not really face a threat to his life is given unnecessary security while the common man is left to fend for himself," he said.
According to sources in the state Home department, some of the former ministers whose security has been scaled down include Ajit Pawar, Chhagan Bhujbal, R R Patil, Praful Patel of NCP, besides ex-CM Prithviraj Chavan, Narayan Rane, etc of Congress.
While Patil was Home minister in erstwhile Congress-NCP government, Bhujbal represented ministry of PWD whereas Patel served as a Cabinet minister in the Manmohan Singh government at the Centre. Narayan Rane was Industries Minister.
Ruling out political motives behind the move, Shinde said the government only aims at making Maharashtra a crime-free state.
"The powers of providing security has been delegated to a special committee headed by the Chief Secretary. The government has no role to play in it. There are no political motives behind downgrading of security. All we want is that police should be doing what they are best at, which is ensuring that the common man feels safe. We want to see a crime free Maharashtra," Shinde added.