Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and now leader of opposition N Chandrababu Naidu had to undergo frisking at Gannavaram Airport in Vijayawada late on Friday. Naidu was also denied VIP access to the aircraft and had to travel in the bus along with other passengers.
A security guard was seen frisking Naidu at the security entrance. An image of the incident went viral on social media with some claiming that it was not the right way to treat a senior politician who had spent 40 years in public life, and others stating that Naidu was no longer a Chief Minister and had to be treated like any other citizen.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief was also not allowed to reach the aircraft in a VIP vehicle. The incident drew strong reaction from the TDP, which alleged that the BJP and YSRCP were resorting to witch-hunting.
TDP leader and former state Home Minister Chinna Rajappa said the attitude of authorities was not only insulting but they also compromised on Naidu's security as he enjoys 'Z plus' category security. The post of Leader of Opposition (LoP) in a state Assembly also comes with the benefits of a cabinet minister rank.
Chinna Rajappa said Naidu never had to face this situation though he was in opposition for many years. He demanded the central and state governments to ensure proper security to Naidu.
Currently, Naidu is under 'Z Plus' category protection and his security detail includes members from the elite National Security Guard (NSG) apart from Andhra Pradesh police's Intelligence Security Wing, for which exemptions can be made at airports, either on the basis of protocol, or on grounds of security.
Naidu had survived a claymore mine attack by Maoists on October 1, 2003 in Tirupati. The Z+ category is considered only second to SPG cover; the highest in the country, and involves round-the-clock personal security with NSG commandos and an escort, a pilot and tailing vehicles.