After the passage of Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha on Thursday, North Goa Youth Congress Committee urged the District Collector to request the Union government to immediately restore the SPG cover of the former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Along with him, the commitee also demanded the restoration of cover for the Gandhi family. The cover was withdrawn from Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi. The leaders are now provided with Z-plus security which will be overseen by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
The bill has been approved by the Lok Sabha and now it awaits the nod of Rajya Sabha. Speaking on the matter, Congress party had accused the Central government of “vendetta politics“. Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari also questioned the government as to why SPG cover was withdrawn from Manmohan Singh and the Gandhi family without amending the bill.
The commitee had submitted the letter regarding the same to the District Collector. The letter read-
“We the members of the Goa Pradesh Youth Congress submit the present Memorandum and request you to send a report to the higher authorities i.e. the state as well as the central government that the government ought not to have exposed the immediate members of the Gandhi family and former prime minister Manmohan Singh to a threat of a terrorist attack by arbitrary, capricious and malicious removal of SPG protection cover. That the same should be immediately restored and especially in the peculiar circumstances of Goa, it is necessary if any of the immediate members of Gandhi family or Manmohan Singh are to visit the state of Goa.”
The letter also mentioned the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. It said that the Special Protection Group Act, 1988 provides the SPG protection to the Prime Minister, former Prime Ministers and their immediate family members. No condition of the Prime Minister being alive is there in the act.
The Goa Pradesh Youth Congress Commitee also stated the reasons for their demand. They said that the state of Goa has been on the terrorist radar. It further added that many Sikh youths have been spotted in Goa wearing T-shirts in support of Bhindranwale and Khalistan.