After Home Minister Rajnath Singh questioned Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi over not taking Special Protection Guard (SPG) cover along on foreign trips, National Conference (NC) working president Omar Abdullah accused the Centre of using the protection force for ‘spying’. Taking to Twitter, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir said that SPG is a protection force not an agency mandated to spy on protectees at the behest of the union government.
Noting that the government should use Intelligence agencies to spy on the leaders, he added, “If you want to know what he is up to I’m sure there are better ways than trying to use his bodyguards as spies.” “This is why protectees become weary of their close protection teams – governments of the day use them to spy on people,” he added.
Home Minister Rajnath earlier in the day cornered Rahul for not taking security along during his foreign visits and thereby violating security protocol. The Home Minister’s remark comes on the heels of recent attack on Congress vice president convoy during his Gujarat visit.
Taking to Twitter, Singh said, “Shri Rahul Gandhi undertook 121 tours in the last 2 years, out of which there were 100 security protocol violations of not using BR Car.” Singh further said that Rahul, who is a SPG protectee, went abroad without taking SPG cover which is a violation of the SPG Act. “SPG protectee get security cover under an Act of Parliament reflecting the will and wisdom of Parliament for providing security. Going abroad without taking SPG cover is not only a violation of the SPG Act, but also a negligence towards one’s own security,” Singh said in a series of tweets. He further said that Rahul was away from India on six occasions for 72 days without taking any SPG security along, posing grave threat to himself. “We want to know why didn’t Shri Rahul Gandhi take SPG cover on several foreign trips? What is he trying to hide?,” Singh asked.
The Home Minister’s remark comes on the heels of recent attack on Congress vice president convoy during his Gujarat visit. On August 4, stone were pelted at Rahul’s convoy while he was returning after taking stock of the flood affected areas in Gujarat’s Dhanera. The Congress party had blamed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ‘goons’ for the attack following which the police arrested BJP worker, Jayesh Darji. Rahul had also slammed the Centre and said, “Narendra Modi ji’s slogans, black flags and stones will not stop us…. We will put in all our might into the service of people.”