In a move that underlines his faith in the state police force, Bhagwant Mann, Chief Minister of Punjab, has declined the Z plus security cover that was recently bestowed on him by the Centre. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader stated his confidence in the Punjab Police to provide adequate protection.
The Centre had previously announced the Z plus security cover for Mann, which is typically accorded to VIPs and is the highest level of security in the country. This security cover is usually provided by a Central agency and ensures a round-the-clock personal security detail comprising about 50 personnel.
However, the State Government sent a letter to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs indicating that Mann would only accept the Z plus security cover in states other than Punjab. This move was sparked by the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) declaration on May 25 that the Punjab Police would be barred from providing security to the Chief Minister.
Sources familiar with the matter revealed that the Chief Minister, who also holds the Home portfolio, did not want to give the impression that he lacked confidence in his own police force. If Mann were to accept protection from a Central security agency, especially within Punjab and Delhi, it would inadvertently convey a lack of trust in the capabilities of the Punjab Police, which report directly to him.
The Chief Minister’s refusal to accept the Z plus security cover is seen as a robust declaration of faith in the state police force. Bhagwant Mann’s stand reflects his belief in the professional abilities of the Punjab Police and underscores the principle that leaders should trust and rely on the institutions that are directly under their control.
The move has been seen as an attempt to boost the morale of the state police force, demonstrating that the Chief Minister believes in their abilities to handle the security arrangements effectively and professionally.
As of now, it remains to be seen how the Centre will react to this unprecedented move by the Chief Minister and how this will impact the overall security arrangements in the state of Punjab.