Sources have confirmed that the Gandhi family may lose their SPG security cover, as part of security rejig and will see Special Protection Group cover only being applicable to the sitting Prime Minister and President. However, the Gandhis will continue to get top security - 'Z+' category provided by the CRPF. The Congress has already attempted to politicise the development and attack the government over the move. However, what they have failed to mention during their attacks is that the members of the Gandhi family have made it almost routine to flout the protocol provided by the SPG, shocking details of which have been accessed by Republic TV.
Data states that Priyanka Gandhi, since 2015 till May 2019 did not use SPG BR vehicles for her travel on 339 occasions within Delhi and on 64 occasions at other places in the country. She used non-BR vehicles against the advice of SPG officers on these visits. Out of a total of 99 foreign visits that she has undertaken since 1991, she took SPG security cover only on 21 occasions and refused to take the security for other 78 visits. On most such tours, she shared her travel plan at the eleventh hour rendering it impossible for SPG to depute officers for her security.
Since May 2014, on several occasions, she had levelled allegations against SPG officers that they were collecting her personal and confidential information and sharing it with unauthorised persons. She even threatened to drag the top officials of SPG into legal action. SPG has from time to time countered such allegations by clarifying that it confines its work to strictly the official charter.
The SPG has over 3,000 personnel. Based on threat perception, the Special Group protects the Prime Ministers as well as former Prime Ministers and their families. The SPG was set up in 1985 specifically for the security of Prime Ministers after the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her security guards a year before. After the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, the SPG Act was amended to provide security to former PMs and their families for 10 years. In 2003, the Vajpayee government amended the law again to bring down the automatic protection for 10 years to one year - or more depending on the level of threat as decided by the Centre. Earlier, the daughter of Manmohan Singh, as well as Atal Bihari Vajpayee's foster daughter, had given up the SPG cover provided to them. While former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had SPG cover till he passed away in 2018, former Prime Ministers HD Deve Gowda's and VP Singh's security was revoked.