In a breaking development, sources have confirmed that the Gandhi family, including Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, will lose their SPG security cover, as part of security rejig which will see Special Protection Group cover only being applicable to the sitting Prime Minister and President. While 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 the Congress fails to mention is that the members of the Gandhi family have made it almost a routine to flout the protocol that was being provided by the SPG, shocking details of which have been accessed by Republic TV.
Rahul Gandhi, between 2005-2014, travelled in non-bullet resistant vehicles on 18 visits to various parts of the country.
Ever since 2015, there have been a mammoth 1892 occasions when former Congress president Rahul Gandhi travelled in a non-Bullet Resistant vehicle in the capital city of Delhi, which can be calculated to almost once every day. There have been 247 occasions until June 2019, when Rahul Gandhi travelled in non-Bullet Resistant vehicles outside of Delhi
The former Congress president even travelled on the roof of vehicles on a few occasions during tours in India, in violation of the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act and security advice. During his visit at Banaskantha (Gujarat) on 4th August 2017, while he was travelling in a non-Bullet Resistant car against the security advice of SPG, there was an incident of stone-pelting on the non-Bullet Resistant private car of the protectee in which the SPG PSO was injured. The injury could have been avoided had the SPG Bullet Resistant car been used, top sources told Republic. The matter was even raised by the Congress Party in the Parliament and the then Home Minister of India made a statement in Lok Sabha wherein it was informed that Rahul Gandhi did not avail SPG Bullet Resistant vehicles on 100 occasions out of his 121 visits between April 2015 to June 2017, which is 82.64 per cent times.
Out of total 156 foreign visits that he undertook since 1991 he did not take SPG officers on 143 visits. In most of these 143 foreign visits he shared the travel itinerary at the eleventh hour, preventing the SPG officers from accompanying him on the tours.
Rahul Gandhi also dragged the name of SPG in his speeches on a few occasions, which is evidently undesirable.
The current Congress president and UPA chairperson did not use SPG Bullet Resistant vehicles on 50 occasions while travelling in New Delhi from 2015 to May 2019. On all but one of these occasions, Rahul Gandhi drove her non-Bullet Resistant car. She also undertook 13 unscheduled visits to various places in the country in the last 5 years [till May 2019] during which she used non-BR cars. She also did not take SPG officers on 24 of her foreign visits since 2015.
Since 2015 till May 2019, she did not use SPG Bullet Resistant vehicles for her travel on 339 occasions within Delhi and on 64 occasions at other places in the country. She used non-Bullet Resistant vehicles against the advice of SPG officers on these visits.
Out of total 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 hours rendering it impossible for SPG to depute officers for her security.
Ever since May 2014, on several occasions, she had levelled allegations against SPG officers that they were collecting her personal and confidential information and sharing with unauthorised persons. She even threatened the top officials of SPG to drag them into legal action. SPG has from time to time countered such allegations by clarifying that it confines its work to strictly the official charter.