Hyderabad: The State BJP president and party floor leader in the Assembly, Mr G Kishan Reddy, on Friday complained to the Chief Minister, Mr N Kiran Kumar Reddy, about the protocol lapses during the visit of the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Ms Sushma Swaraj, to Hyderabad on May 31 and urged the latter to order a high level probe into the episode so that accountability could be fixed to deter such lapses in future.
In a letter dashed off to the Chief Minister today, the BJP leader stated that Ms Sushma Swaraj arrived in the city to take part in a party meeting held in Karimnagar on the same day. The entire programme had been intimated to all the departments concerned, including the GAD for accommodation, travel and security arrangements. Accordingly, the GAD sent a letter stating that Ms Sushma Swaraj would be treated as the paying guest and all arrangements including transport would be made. However, when the national BJP leader arrived in Rajiv Gandhi Airport at Shamshabad at noon on that day, neither transport facility was made nor any one from the Protocl Department was present to receive her. Consequently, the local BJP leaders had to hurriedly make arrangements for transport, he stated, adding that there were PSOs from the security who did not have any vehicle. Therefore, we had to take her in our private vehicles, he added.
“Though Ms Sushma Swaraj condoned the lapse, the lapses by the very nature are serious because she is the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and deserved high security protection.” Mr Kishan Reddy pointed out that this was not the first time that such a lapse had occurred with high security dignitaries of the BJP. “I myself brought to your notice about security lapse during the visit of the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, on December 4, last year.
He stated that on earlier occasions, when eminent leaders like Mr A B Vajpayee, Mr L K Advani, Ms Sonia Gandhi, Ms Sushma Swaraj and other leaders of Opposition visited Andhra Pradesh, they were treated well and given State guests honour with proper protocol, irrespective of the nature of their visit. “It is surprising that in spite of prior intimation to all departments concerned, including the GAD for accommodation, travel and security arrangements, there was no one from the Department of Protocol to receive Ms Sushma Swaraj, I am still willing to concede that these lapses were not deliberate. But the pattern in the lapses give room to believe that there was a pattern with the BJP top brass holding Constitutional position.