In a breaking development, sources have confirmed that the Gandhi family, including Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, are to lose their Special Protection Group (SPG) security cover, with it only now being applied to the sitting Prime Minister and President. While the Congress has gone on to politicise the change, calling it an act of political vendetta, the BJP has contended that even former PMs Manmohan Singh and Deve Gowda have the same Z+ security that the Gandhis will now be given. Amid this, Republic TV has also accessed details of blatant violations of SPG protocol by members of the Gandhi family.
The biggest violations are by former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who only recently had been accused of not informing the requisite authorities about his travel plans when he undertook his recent 'meditation visit'. The full details regarding flouting of SPG protocol, however, are shocking:
According to sources, Rahul Gandhi has routinely given the SPG a slip. Between 2005-2014, Gandhi travelled in non-BR (bullet-resistant) vehicles on 18 visits to different parts of the country. This is in complete contrast to the SPG policy of only commuting in BR vehicles by the protectee. Since 2015, there have been 1,892 occasions (till May 2019) when he travelled in a non-BR vehicle in Delhi, which amounts to almost one incident every day. There have been 247 occasions (till June 2019) when he travelled in a non-BR vehicle outside Delhi.
The former Congress president even travelled on the roof of the vehicle on a few occasions during internal tours in violation of the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act and flouting security advice. During his visit to Gujarat's Banaskantha on August 4, 2017, while travelling in a non-BR car against SPG protocol, there was an incident of stone-pelting on the non-BR private car of the protectee in which the SPG Personal Security officer (PSO) was injured. The injury could have been avoided had the SPG BR-car been used, with the matter even raised by the Congress Party in the Parliament and media and the then Home Minister Rajnath Singh making a statement in Lok Sabha wherein it was informed that Rahul Gandhi did not avail SPG BR vehicles for 100 occasions out of his 121 visits between April 2015 to June 2017.
Out of 156 foreign visits that Rahul Gandhi undertook since 1991, he did not take SPG officers on 143 visits. In most of these 143 foreign visits, Gandhi shared the travel itinerary at the eleventh hour making the attendance of the SPG officers impossible on the tours. Rahul Gandhi also dragged the name of SPG on a few occasions in the last five years in his public speeches, sources said