Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said on Thursday that the removal of the elite Special Protection Group (SPG) cover was a part of the politics which, she said, “keeps happening”.
On November 8, the SPG cover given to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul and Priyanka was withdrawn and the family was instead provided Z-plus security by the CRPF.
Speaking with India Today TV, Priyanka Gandhi said, “SPG parr rajneeti hoti rehti hai. Bahot arthik mandi hai isliye hum rally kar rahe hai [Politics keeps happening on the SPG, we are protesting against economic slowdown]”
The decision to withdraw SPG cover given to the family of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated by LTTE terrorists on May 21, 1991, was taken after a detailed security assessment.
With this decision, the nearly 3,000 strong force would now only be guarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
An official said security cover for all VIP is reviewed periodically and recommendations are made based on threat perceptions by various security agencies in the country.
“The Gandhi family continues to have Z-plus security cover,” a home ministry official said.
Giving reasons for the decision, another home ministry official said the threat perception has reduced and the Gandhi family “no longer faces serious security threats”.
Reacting to the development, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre and termed it “a planned conspiracy”.
Seeking to know the “logic and reason” behind the move, Gehlot said sometime back the SPG had warned of threats to Rahul Gandhi from the Naxals, extremists and terror groups like Al-Qaeda.
Hundreds of Congress youth-wing members on Wednesday descended on the streets in central Delhi and burnt an effigy of Home Minister Amit Shah to protest the withdrawal of SPG security cover of the Gandhi family.