Gandhi family security cover: A day after Congress members staged a walkout from Lok Sabha over the issue of withdrawal of SPG cover to party interim president Sonia Gandhi, son Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the party raised the matter in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Speaking in the Upper House of Parliament, Congress MP Anand Sharma accused the BJP government of playing politics over the issue.
"We urge govt that issues of security of our leaders have to be beyond partisan political considerations," Sharma said.
Responding on the government’s behalf, BJP’s JP Nadda said rejected the Opposition party’s charge and said that the special security cover provided to the Gandhis was withdrawn as per the threat perception reviewed by the Home Ministry.
"There is nothing political, security hasn’t been withdrawn. Home Ministry has a very set pattern and there is a protocol. It is not done by a politician, it is done by Home Ministry and according to threat perception the security is given and withdrawn," Nadda said.
Earlier this month, the government decided to take back the Special Protection Group security cover being provided to the Congress first family and replace it with the ‘Z-plus’ security of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). SPG cover for former PM Manmohan Singh was also withdrawn earlier.
Meanwhile, the CRPF has written to states and Union Territories regarding the new protocols to be followed concerning security cover for Sonia Gandhi and her family. The central force is also likely to seek sanctions from the government to procure specialised armoured vehicles to be put in service for the Gandhis and other high-profile personalities including ex-PM Manmohan Singh, news agency PTI reported citing officials.