In a massive development Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) decided that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will get CRPF protection and his Z+ security cover will be withdrawn. Sources informing more on the development told Republic TV that annual meeting happens to review sicurity cover of former Prime Ministers. It was decided in the meeting that former PM Manmohan Singh will no more recieve Z+ security. However his security arrangements is not compromised as 18 CRPF commandos will be deployed to take care of his security. The Home Ministry statement said: "The current security cover review is a periodical and professional exercise based on threat perception that is purely based on professional assessment by security agencies. Dr. Manmohan Singh continues to have a Z+ security cover."
The SPG has over 3,000 personnel. Based on threat perception, the special group covers 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, 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 taken away.
The 86-year-old former PM and Congress leader was elected to Rajya Sabha, unopposed as the BJP did not put up a candidate against him from Rajasthan. He returned to the Rajya Sabha after a brief gap since his retirement from the Upper House on June 14 this year. Earlier, Manmohan Singh served as the member of the Upper House of Parliament from Assam for almost three decades. He was a Rajya Sabha member for five consecutive terms from 1991 to 2019 and the country's prime minister for two consecutive terms between 2004 and 2014. While his tenure in the Rajya Sabha terminated on June 14, he could not be renominated as the Congress party did not have the strength to send him to the Upper House from Assam again. Rajasthan has 10 Rajya Sabha seats. Remaining nine seats of Rajya Sabha from the state are with the BJP.
Days after being elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan, senior Congress leader Dr Manmohan Singh took oath as a member of the Upper House of Parliament on Friday. The oath was administered by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu. During the occasion, top Congress leaders including party's interim chief Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel and Anand Sharma were present to extend their support to the former PM as he took oath in the Chairman's chamber. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and some BJP leaders were also present at the occasion.