New Delhi: Days after the Centre came up with its explanation over withdrawing elite SPG security cover of the Gandhis, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hit back saying, “This is a part of politics. It keeps happening.”
Earlier this month, the BJP-led central government withdrew the Special Protection Group (SPG) cover given to the Gandhi family including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and her children Rahul and Priyanka. The Centre stated that the family will now get ‘Z plus’ security provided by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
Interestingly, while speaking on the issue in the Rajya Sabha last week, Union Minister JP Nadda had said that there was no ‘political’ motive behind the government’s decision, asserting that security is given and withdrawn according to the “threat perception”.
“There is nothing political. The Home Ministry has a very set pattern, and there is a protocol. This is not done by a politician, it is done by the Home Ministry,” Nadda had said.
Government officials said that the decision to withdraw the country’s highest grade of protection was taken after a review involving the Cabinet Secretariat and the Ministry of Home Affairs with inputs from various intelligence agencies.
Moreover, the 4,000-personnel-strong SPG cover will now be given only to the Prime Minister.
Notably, the SPG cover was set up for the Gandhi family in 1985 following the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her bodyguards, the year before. Subsequently, after Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, the Vajpayee government amended the SPG Act to extend the security cover to the then Prime Minister’s family as well.