Already flooded with requests for central security cover from more VIPs, the Union home ministry is facing a surge in similar pleas from VIPs in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, after the state governments withdrew their security.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said trimming of the security cover given to VIPs by the state governments had led to a sudden rush of people approaching his ministry for security cover, after they apprehended threat to their lives.
"Both Uttar Pradesh and Punjab governments have reviewed their security (for people under VIP security cover). They are now approaching the MHA for security cover," said Shinde.
He, however, made it clear that any increase in the number of people to be given central security would be done only after analysing the threat perception to the person concerned.
"There is no increase in the number of people getting VIP security (from MHA) and whosoever is given this cover, it is strictly based on threat perception to the person, which is analysed by security agencies," he said.
An increasing number of politicians are getting ‘Z-plus’ security. Prominent new entrants in this category include Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma and Bahujan Samaj Party Member of Parliament Brajesh Pathak, while many other Members of Legislative Assembly and government functionaries from various states are being given various categories of security.
The development comes months after the list of VIPs in this category was substantially pruned during P Chidambaram's tenure as the home minister.
Verma was provided with enhanced security cover after he claimed he was receiving threatening calls.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has already been accorded 'Z+' security by the National Security Guard, while Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh will soon get the same.
Delhi has the highest number of security personnel on VIP-guard duties in the country.
According to the Data on Police Organisations in India-2012, prepared by the Bureau of Police Research and Development, there is one policeman in Delhi for every 253 citizens, while there are 5,183 policemen deployed for giving protection to 427 high-profile people in Delhi.
The protected persons include ministers, MPs, MLAs, judges and bureaucrats.
The report showed that for 14,842 protected people nation-wide, 47,557 police personnel have been deputed for their security for more than six months at a stretch.
In an affidavit submitted before the Supreme Court, the government had stated that its total budget for VIP security for the current financial year was Rs 341 crore.