New Delhi: The home ministry has decided to provide Z-plus security cover to the Opposition’s presidential candidate, Meira Kumar. This would be at par to the security cover accorded to NDA’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind. Ms Kumar’s security cover would be upgraded after getting her consent, ministry sources said.
The Centre had on Thursday upgraded the security cover for Mr Kovind to Z-plus category. Sources said that after considering Ms Kumar’s past political record of being a former Lok Sabha Speaker, a Union minister, and now, the Opposition’s presidential candidate, giving her adequate security cover was considered important.
“We have done all the necessary arrangements and after getting sanction from Ms Kumar, her security cover would be put in place. A team of senior police officials will visit Ms Kumar soon,”’a security official said.
At present, Ms Kumar has X-category security cover which only includes some PSOs from the local police.
As per security protocol, a Z-plus category protectee gets a Black Cat commando cover from the elite National Security Guards, pilot and escort vehicles, in addition to a jammer.
The local police, which in this case is the Delhi Police, will also provide an outer security cordon at the residence of the protectee.
After considering security requirements earlier on Thursday, the Centre also allocated a bunglow — 10 Akbar Road in Lutyens Delhi — to Mr Kovind who was earlier allotted 144 North Avenue in his capacity as the Bihar Governor. The 10 Akbar Road house had been sanctioned to Union culture minister Mahesh Sharma.
As of now, the security cover would be in places for the VIPs till the completion of the process of presidential elections, following which the home ministry would conduct a fresh threat perception.