Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaking in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Photo/LSTV
Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaking in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Photo/LSTV

All political parties can't be given security at par with PM, Gandhis' security not removed but changed: Amit Shah

ANI | Updated: Nov 27, 2019 19:09 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 27 (ANI): Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said the decision to remove the Special Protection Group (SPG) cover from the three members of the Gandhi family was taken after threat assessment and added that all political parties cannot be provided with the same level of security as the Prime Minister gets.
"This government wants to provide security to every political party and is already providing the same. But all political parties can't be given equal security as provided to the Prime Minister of the country. The protection cover has not been reduced but has been changed. They (Gandhi family) have been given Z plus security, CRPF cover, ASL protocol and ambulance," Shah said in the Lok Sabha today.
Shah further said that the three leaders of the Congress -- Sonia Gandhi, her son and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi and party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra -- had on multiple occasions in the past not taken the Special Protection Group (SPG) cover even after personnel was assigned to them.
"Members of the Gandhi family have been on several trips without informing the SPG. Instances like this have happened about 600 times. What secrets were hidden? Look at Rajnath ji, for many years security personnel even escort him till the toilet and yet he never said anything," said Shah.
Elaborating on his statement after some Congress leaders demanded a detailed answer from the Home Minister, Shah said, "Sonia Gandhi from 2015 till now, has on more than 50 occasions went ahead to attend the programmes without informing the Delhi government and the national security agencies. She undertook 13 unplanned trips and did not use the SPG bulletproof car. After 2015, she did not inform the SPG personnel on her 24 foreign trips."
"Priyanka Gandhi on 339 occasions in Delhi and 64 occasions in other parts of the country went without SPG cover. Since 1991, on her 99 international visits she took the SPG cover only during 21 visits while on 78 trips she did not take any security cover," Shah added.
Speaking about Rahul Gandhi, Shah said: "From 2005-2014, he went on 18 trips around the country without a bulletproof car and informing the SPG. And since 2015, Rahul Gandhi has undertaken 1,892 trips in India and 247 trips while outside India without informing the SPG."
Rooting for the SPG (Amendment) Bill, 2019 Shah said that this was the first time that it was being done keeping the interest of the Prime Minister and not that of three leaders from a family in mind.
"I have no hesitation in saying on record that the changes that were made to the Bill earlier were made keeping in mind a single-family. It is for the first time it has been changed keeping in mind the security of PM," said Shah.
The SPG (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by a voice vote after the reply from Home Minister Amit Shah. It amends the Special Protection Group Act, 1988.
The Congress staged a walkout from the House after the minister's reply.

The Bill also provides that SPG will give security to former Prime Ministers, and his immediate family members residing with him at the residence allotted to him for five years from the date he ceases to hold the office. (ANI)