Strongly endorsing the government's move to withdraw SPG cover for Gandhi family, former cricketer-turned politician and BJP MP Gautam Gambhir on Friday said the family did not deserve the cover and government had taken the right decision. "I think the government has taken a right decision keeping every aspect in view. Gandhis really don't deserve the SPG cover as they had hardly utilised it in the past many years. Now if you have hardly used it and rather ridiculed them, then why complain that its taken off from you. Thats not done. Either you respect them and show you deserve it," Gambhir told Republic TV in an exclusive interaction on Friday.
Gambhir was of the view that one cannot eat and have the cake at the same time.
"They continued to use the facility but never actually gave them proper credit or recognition and rather blamed them for various fictitious reasons," he noted.
It is important to mention that SPG cover was started to provide security to the Prime Minister and then former Prime Ministers. Later it was amended to give protection the family members of former PMs. Accordingly, the SPG had been providing proximate security to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the immediate family members of former Prime Minister Late Rajiv Gandhi, since 15th October 1991. The SPG security cover to the family members has been getting extended by the Central Government annually for last 28 years. This annual review consists of a security review of the threat perception. This year, after the review, it has been decided to replace the SPG security with Z+ security for the Gandhi family.
In addition to Z+ security, they will have the facilities of all India ASL provision, bulletproof cars and jammers and stringent anti-sabotage measures. In a way there are no changes in security measures only the agency is changed. SPG comes to know about many important movements of PM because of the nature of their duty and they also know many secrets. In view of this it was not advisable to deploy SPG in duties other than security of the PM.