On Tuesday, November 19, the second day of the Winter Session, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has raised the issue of removal of SPG security from the Gandhi family. He also gave the notice to move an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha against the withdrawal of the Special Protection Group (SPG) cover of the Gandhi family.
Describing the move as "arbitrary", the Congress in the notice said the security cover was withdrawn ignoring the existing and probable threats to the Gandhi family. An adjournment motion is moved to stop the proceedings of the House to take up the issue raised in the motion.
Speaking at the Lok Sabha Chowdhury said, "I want to raise this serious issue over putting the life of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in danger by removing their SGP cover. All of you know the SGP provided to the Gandhi family is not ordinary protection. In 1984 when Indira Gandhi was killed it was decided the PM of India and family will receive SGP protection even Atal Bihari Vajpayee agreed to this. Between 1991 to 2019 the NDA formed government two times in these 18 years never was the SPG cover removed from the family. What has happened to them suddenly?"
Earlier on Monday, Adhir Ranjan had slammed the move and asked, "What is their fault? Why is the government targeting the Opposition?" The Special Protection Group (SPG) security cover given to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was withdrawn last week by the central government. The Gandhis were placed under the Z-plus security cover after 28 years of SPG protection. They are now being manned by CRPF personnel.
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 were revoked.