Never miss a great news story!
Get instant notifications from Economic Times
AllowNot now


You can switch off notifications anytime using browser settings.
12,086.70114.9
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Congress demands restoration of SPG cover for Gandhis

Congress party has been raising the issue of restoration of the Special Protection Group cover to former prime minister Manmohan Singh and the Gandhi family in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Congress leader Anand Sharma said the cover sho...

PTI|
Updated: Nov 20, 2019, 02.37 PM IST
0Comments
ANI
anand-sharma-ANI
New Delhi: Congress leader Anand Sharma on Wednesday demanded in Rajya Sabha restoration of the SPG cover to the Gandhi family and former prime minister Manmohan Singh by "rising above partisan politics" but senior BJP leaders maintained the decision was taken by the Home Ministry based on threat perception.

The central government earlier this month replaced the Special Protection Group (SPG) security cover given to Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi, daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and former prime minister Singh by the 'Z-plus' security of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

Raising the issue during the Zero Hour in the House, veteran Congress MP Sharma said there was a clear evaluation of threat perceptions to the four leaders and withdrawal of SPG cover makes them vulnerable.

"It is the responsibility of the state to protect its leaders," he said, while pointing out that the Congress-led UPA government had not disturbed security cover of former prime ministers, including that of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and also of other protectees

Thee security cover was neither diluted nor withdrawn during the 10-years of UPA rule, he added.

He further said that after withdrawal of the SPG cover to Gandhis and Singh there are concerns which are well founded.

"We would urge the government that these issues of personal safety, security and lives of our leaders have to be beyond partisan political considerations.

"Please rise above that. Review and restore (SPG security cover). That would be in national interest, otherwise intention will be questioned today, tomorrow and in the future," Sharma said.

Defending the government's decision to downgrade the security cover, senior BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said the decision has been taken by the Home Ministry, and moreover the threat perception to the Gandhis has disappeared with the end of the LTTE in Sri Lanka.

"Threat perceptions have always been the judgement of the Home Ministry...It has been always been a special committee in the Home Ministry which decides. If there is any question about it, one can go to court and challenge it," he said.

He further said the threat originally arose out of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

"That issue has disappeared because of two reasons," Swamy said.

"First there is no LTTE" and second the "attitude" of protectees towards those who have given death penalty for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by the Supreme Court, he said.

He said Gandhis have been asking for reduction of punishment of those involved in the assassination and even Sonia Gandhi had written to the President of India in this regard.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said he too was not in favour of reduction in punishment.

BJP working president J P Nadda said no politics should be seen in the move to replace their security cover.

He said the Home Ministry has a "set pattern" and "protocol" in assessing threat perceptions to leaders.

Also Read

Withdraw passports with ‘lotus’ emblem: Congress

Citizenship Bill against Constitution: Congress

Congress, BJP overhaul in Gujarat likely

Biggest diplomatic blunder: Congress

CAB protest: Govt accuses Congress of instigating violence in Northeast; Congress MPs walk out in protest

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.
Download The Economic Times Business News App for the Latest News in Business, Sensex, Stock Market Updates & More.

Other useful Links


Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service