New Delhi: At a time when the removal of the SPG cover from Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has taken the form of a Government versus Gandhi battle, the Lok Sabha on Wednesday took up the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for discussion and passage.

” I have come here with an amendment in the Special Protection Group (SPG) Act. After the amendment, under this Act, SPG cover will be given only to the PM and members of his family who live officially with him,” Amit Shah said in the Lok Sabha.

“SPG cover will also be given to a former PM and his family living at a residence allotted by the government for a period of five years,” he said.

“(Protection will be given to) former Prime Minister and such members of his immediate family, as are residing with him at the residence allotted to him, for a period of five years from the date he ceases to hold the office of Prime Minister,” the amendment reads

“It assumes special significance in the geo-political context of the country, its hostile neighbourhood and the multi-layered dimensions of threat the country is exposed to. In recognition of this critical security imperative for the Prime Minister in office, a special enactment was made to constitute the Special Protection Group with the sole objective of providing proximate security to the Prime Minister and members of his immediate family,” the amendment adds.

The Special Protection Group has been providing security to the Prime Minister of India and their immediate family members for more than 25 years. It was established under the SPG Act that was introduced in 1985, a year after Indira Gandhi’s assassination.