The Center has granted Z+ security coverage from CRPF commandos to NDA presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu, officials said Wednesday.
The armed team took over security from Ms Murmu, 64, early Wednesday morning, a senior officer told PTI.
BJP president JP Nadda announced the candidacy of Ms Murmu, an Odisha party leader who served as governor of Jharkhand, at a press conference Tuesday night after a meeting of the party’s parliamentary council, which included Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior leaders.
Officials said shortly after this announcement that the Interior Ministry had ordered the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to deploy its VIP protection team to take charge of Ms Murmu’s security.
A security report on threat perception prepared by central security services for the NDA presidential candidate formed the basis for the interior ministry’s decision, officials said.
A detachment of approximately 14-16 personnel from the paramilitary force in Odisha has taken over the task of providing security coverage to Ms Murmu. They will accompany her wherever she travels across the state and country, the officials said.
The security personnel will also secure her home in Rairangpur in Odisha.
Ms Murmu is expected to travel extensively in the coming month to meet with lawmakers and leaders of various political parties to seek support for her candidacy, officials said.
The command team is expected to guard her until she takes charge as the country’s first civilian, a big chance as numbers grow in favor of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
The CRPF guards VIPs such as Interior Minister Amit Shah and the Congress party’s first family, including Party Chairman Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
In 2017, NDA presidential candidate and current president Ram Nath Kovind received similar security from the Center’s “black cats” NSG commandos.
The presidential election was to be held on July 18 to choose a successor to President Kovind and the results would be announced on July 21.
President Kovind’s term of office ends on July 24.
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