Earlier this month, the government replaced the SPG cover of family members of former prime ministers including Dr Manmohan Singh. The SPG will now protect the incumbent prime minister and members of his immediate family members residing with him at his official residence.
Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday attacked the Congress for adopting dual standards while expressing concern for the security of family members of former prime ministers. He said that not one person from the grand old party uttered a word when the SPG cover of family members of former Prime Ministers — Chandrashekhar, Narsimha Rao, and IK Gujral — was withdrawn. The Home Minister said that the whole noise about the SPG cover is only for one family.
“After conducting a threat assessment, the SPG protection was removed for family members of Chandrashekhar, Narsimha Rao, IK Gujral and Manmohan Singh. No one ever made a noise about it…Who are you worried about — is it for a VIP or a family?” the Home Minister said while responding to the Congress leaders who demanded that the SPG cover should be given to former prime ministers and their family members for the rest of their lives.
Earlier this month, the government replaced the SPG cover of family members of former prime ministers including Dr Manmohan Singh. The Centre has introduced some amendments to the SPG Act. As per the amendments approved in the Lok Sabha today, the SPG will now protect the incumbent prime minister and members of his immediate family members residing with him at his official residence. It will also provide security cover to former prime ministers and their immediate family members for a period of five years from the date on which they demit the office.
However, the move has not gone down well with the Congress leaders who are now claiming that Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah are “targeting a family that has sacrificed two lives for the nation”. Responding to this, Amit Shah today said that their “security has not been removed. Security has been changed. They are provided with security Z plus CRPF cover, ASL and ambulance.”
He further said that his government wanted to provide security to every political party and was already providing the same. “But political parties can’t be given equal security as provided to the Prime Minister of the country,” he added.
To blunt the Congress’ claims, the Home Minister informed the House that members of the Gandhi family have been on several trips without informing the SPG and instances like this have happened about 600 times. “After 2015, Rahul Gandhi has traveled 1892 times in India without telling SPG and about 247 times abroad without telling SPG,” Shah said.