Congress leader Anand Sharma has raised the issue of SPG removal on the floor of the Upper house and put forward the concerns of Congress party over downgrading security cover of the Gandhis and Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
He said, “When UPA was in power we never removed SPG cover for any former PM including Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Protection of our leaders whose security is sensitive should be above political lines.” He further pointed out that Congress President Sonia Gandhi is the wife of a ‘martyred’ former prime minister of this country.
Anand Sharma’s point was then countered by the Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy. He said, “It is the Home Ministry that decides on Security cover and the threat surrounding Gandhi’s has disappeared with the end of LTTE.”
Objections were raised by the Congress party over the arguments that Subramanian Swamy posed in the Upper house. BJP MP JP Nadda intervened and said, “There is nothing political…security has not been withdrawn…the Home Ministry has done what it has done based on threat perception.”
The Special Protection Group was formed after the assassination of Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during 1984 to protect the Prime Minister of India. Rajiv Gandhi’s SPG cover was removed after he was out of office, but following his assassination, his wife and children – Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were also provided SPG protection in view of a high threat assessment.