Taking strong exception to the Centre’s orders asking Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to vacate her government accommodation in New Delhi by August 1, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has urged the Union government to withdraw the cancellation orders in the interest of her security and safety.
Reacting to reports of Priyanka being asked to leave the house since she no longer had SPG cover, which had entitled her to the government bungalow, the CM said the Central government should reinstate her SPG cover and restore her accommodation in view of the threat perception which she continues to have as a member of the Gandhi family.
Political considerations and differences cannot and should not be allowed to come in the way of ensuring fool-proof security and safety of any person, especially when that person belongs to a family that had lost two members to terror attacks, said Captain Amarinder. Given this background, the safety of Sonia, Priyanka and Rahul remains a matter of concern for the entire nation, which they have been serving selflessly over the past several decades, he said. The CM said neither the withdrawal of Priyanka’s SPG cover nor the cancellation of her government accommodation was justifiable in the circumstances.
Any compromise on Priyanka’s safety could be construed as a political witchhunt, especially when these orders have come at a time when she has been strongly and unrelentingly criticising the handling of the COVID crisis in Uttar Pradesh, especially the Prime Minister’s parliamentary constituency of Varanasi, the CM warned.
All people, irrespective of their ideology, have the right to criticise and demand explanations from the government in a democracy, he pointed out, adding that this is even more applicable to politicians.
Captain Amarinder pointed out that despite the continued political attacks on his government by the Akali leadership, he has personally ensured that the Badal family’s safety is not put at stake at any cost. Not only had he offered Prakash Singh Badal continued use of a government house in the state, but his government had also complimented the central security of the former chief minister with a huge posse of Punjab Police personnel, he said.
Bulletproof land cruisers and vehicles for Badal’s security had been arranged by his government and would continue to be provided, irrespective of the differences between the ruling Congress and the SAD in Punjab, he said. No government should throw the safety of their opponents to the wind as a tool of political vendetta, he stressed.