The winter session of Parliament on Wednesday saw protests from Congress leaders on the withdrawal of SPG (Special Protection Group) cover from the Gandhi Family. The cover protected the Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi, son Rahul Gandhi, and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The top home ministry sources said there is “no going back on the decision, the Congress can keep asking.”
Congress Leader, Anand Sharma said: “Please rise above this and review and restore. That would be in the national interest as otherwise the intention would be questioned today, tomorrow and in the future.” After the government’s move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the lone SPG protectee in the country.
The Gandhi family was withdrawn from the SPG cover 28 years after the elite force’s continuous deployment, and it was replaced by the ‘Z-plus’ security of the CRPF. The central government placed the SPG security cover when Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE), a Sri Lankan militant separatist group on May 21, 1991.
On 2nd day of the winter session, Congress leader Anand Sharma started the discussion. He said: “All have been vulnerable to threats. It is the duty of the state to protect its leaders. When UPA was in office, the security cover of Dr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was not disturbed. We urge the government that issues of personal safety, lives politicians has to be beyond the partisan political considerations.”
On the response to the Congress leader Anand Sharma, BJP’s acting president & Rajya sabha MP JP Nadda said, “There is nothing political, security hasn’t been withdrawn. Home Ministry has a very set pattern & there is a protocol. It is not done by a politician, it is done by the Home Ministry and according to threat perception, the security is given & withdrawn. ”
What is SPG Cover?
Special Protection Group is a special force with over 3000 personnel. They provide security and protect the Prime Minister of India, Former Prime Ministers of India and their Families.