Why was Gandhi family’s SPG cover withdrawn? This is what Amit Shah told Lok Sabha

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Updated: Nov 28, 2019 11:06 AM

Home Minister Amit Shah accused members of the Gandhi family of violating the protocol of the SPG security cover provided to them.

Sonia Gandhi security cover, Rahul Gandhi security cover Speaking on the floor of the Lok Sabha, Amit Shah rejected the opposition’s charge that the government was compromising the security of Gandhi family members.

Home Minister Amit Shah today blamed the Gandhi family members for violating the norms of the elite force created to provide security cover to Prime Minister, former Prime Ministers and their family members. He also rejected the opposition’s charge that the government was compromising the security of Gandhi family members. The security cover provided to Gandhi family members has just been changed on the basis of threat assessment. It has not been withdrawn, said home minister Amit Shah in the Lok Sabha.

Today, home minister Amit Shah was relentless during the debate on the Special Protection Group Amendment Bill 2019. He rebutted the charge of Congress members saying that the Modi government never resorted to vendetta politics and the security cover provided to Gandhi family was changed on the assessment carried out on a purely professional basis.

Citing the example of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Amit Shah said that the change over of security cover provided to the former Prime Minister was smooth as he cooperated with the intelligence and security officials. He blamed Rahul Gandhi for the lack of communication with security and intelligence officials.

He said when the director of intelligence bureau (IB) called them (Gandhi family members) for a meeting they were not given time to meet.

“The message was clear: You do what you want to do. We don’t want to meet,” he said while talking about the response given to the security officials who wanted to discuss the issue with three members of Gandhi family – Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

“This threat assessment was carried out not only once but twice and it was considered that the Z plus security cover with an ambulance and an advanced surveillance team would be sufficient,” said the home minister.

Amit Shah also accused members of the first political family of violating the protocol of the SPG security cover provided to them.

“In the past five years, Rahul Gandhi did not take the security cover of SPG in 247 tours he conducted outside Delhi,” he said.

It was not only Rahul Gandhi, Lok Sabha member from Wayanad in Kerala, who had often violated the security norms of SPG. The home minister also blamed Congress working president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul’s sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for defying the security cover norms.

“Since 1991, Priyanka Gandhi went on 99 foreign tours. Out of 99, she did not seek SPG cover on 78 such tours,” said Amit Shah adding that during the same period, Sonia Gandhi did not inform SPG about her visits 600 times.

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