Centre tweaks security rules, SPG to accompany Gandhis round the clock; Cong slams
New Delhi, Oct 07: The Centre on Monday has made some changes with respect to the security cover accorded to the Gandhis citing 'security' reasons.
Issuing fresh guidelines, the Centre said it is now mandatory for the Special Protection Group (SPG) personnel to accompany them at all times whenever they go for foreign trips.
Hitting at the move, Congress slammed the government and described it as 'surveillance'.
According to a report on leading daily, Congress said, "Rahul Gandhi is a law-abiding citizen. He has always complied with set norms. If the SPG rules are changed for better security cover, Rahul Gandhi will follow the new guidelines. It's not always possible to travel with the entire entourage. Rahul, in the past, has taken two-three SPG personnel along while travelling abroad."
At present, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are guarded by the SPG on their foreign tours. However, the Gandhis would send the SPG personnel back if they preferred privacy.
The Gandhi family will now have to submit all details related to their travel now, as per the new guidelines.
The Centre has made it clear that nonacceptance of these new guidelines could lead to curtailment on their foreign visits on account of security considerations.
What is the SPG cover?
The Indian Special Protection Group is "an armed force of the Union for providing proximate security to the Prime Minister of India and former Prime Ministers of India and members of their immediate families wherever in the world they are." It was formed in 1988 after the Parliament had passed the SPG Act in 1988 after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1985.
Meanwhile, in the month of August, the government withdrew the Special Protection Group (SPG) from former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's security cover.