Govt withdraws SPG security cover: Playing with lives of Gandhis, says Congress

The party asked the government to explain the basis of the decision. “It makes the family vulnerable.”

Congress leaders and chief ministers on Friday hit out at the Central government over its decision to withdraw the Special Protection Group (SPG) cover given to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul and Priyanka.

“The BJP has descended to the ultimate personal vendetta mechanism, compromising the lives of family members of two former Prime Ministers to acts of terror and violence,” senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said. His party colleague Anand Sharma said the decision was “shocking and vindictive”.

The party asked the government to explain the basis of the decision. “It makes the family vulnerable. Don’t forget that two members of the family — Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi — were assassinated. The state has a duty to protect and SPG cover was not a favour. The UPA government never withdrew Atalji’s cover,” Sharma said.

The Congress released a letter that four senior leaders — former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, A K Antony, Ahmed Patel and M Veerappa Moily — had written to the Cabinet Secretary on November 5 asking the government to treat security matters of the three in a non-partisan manner. They had argued that “any change in the status of their security prejudicial to the three protectees… shall be malafide and… shall be an ill-advised act of commission on the part of which,…

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