Congress writes to Rajnath Singh, seeks CISF security cover for Sidhu

File photo of Navjot Singh Sidhu. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 17, 2018, 10.45 PM (IST)

The Congress Saturday wrote to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and sought CISF security cover for Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu citing "growing threat perception" to his life.

In a missive to Singh, Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Sidhu should be provided Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) security cover as he will be travelling extensively outside Punjab to campaign for the party in the ongoing assembly elections.

"Sidhu is a legislator and a senior (Punjab) cabinet minister as also an outspoken critic of Modi government's policies, there seems to be a growing threat perception to his life," Surjewala said in the letter.

"Unfortunately, the extension of protection to Sidhu has been driven not by threat perceptions but by his politics," he said.

In 2014, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Punjab had withdrawn Sidhu's security cover, which was reinstated after protest, the Congress spokesperson said.

"After Sidhu left the BJP, the threatening tone and disparaging remarks by various Akali Dal and BJP leaders, including BJP national president Amit Shah, are also well known," Surjewala claimed.

"Bereft of political differences and rivalries, it is your esteemed office that is charged with the responsibility of providing security cover through the CISF to individuals, who are at a high risk," he said.

Surjewala pointed out the ministry has provided CISF cover to Akali leader and former Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia.

"While the state of Punjab has provided him adequate security, Punjab police personnel cannot be assigned the responsibility of (Sidhu's) security in rest of India," he said.

On Friday, Sidhu began campaigning for the Congress in Chhattisgarh, where the second phase of assembly elections will be held on November 20.

The cricketer-turned-politician is among the several star campaigners selected by the party for campaigning in the state.

Sidhu has also been asked to campaign for six days each in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, which go to polls on November 28 and December 7 respectively.

Story highlights

In a missive to Singh, Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Sidhu should be provided Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) security cover as he will be travelling extensively outside Punjab to campaign for the party in the ongoing assembly elections.