Security is not a status symbol: Here is how many times Rahul, Sonia, Priyanka violated SPG norms
New Delhi, Dec 03: Over the years, the Special Protection Group security had become a status symbol. The Modi government brought an amendment to the Special Protection Group and the same was passed in the Rajya Sabha today.
The Congress has been alleging that the decision to withdraw the SPG security to the Gandhi family was a political vendetta. However, the decision taken by the government was purely based on the threat assessment that is conducted periodically.
The amendment Bill has several changes and one of them is that the family members of a former prime minister who don't reside with him at his official residence will not be guarded by SPG commandos anymore.
Further, the amendment also says that those who reside with him at his allotted accommodation will get security cover of the elite force only for five years.
Proximate security will be given by the force only to the prime minister and members of his immediate family if they live with him at his official residence.
Apart from the threat assessment, Home Ministry officials also took into account the number of times protocol has not been followed by the Gandhis. A source in the Home Ministry said that the SPG had complained several times about protocol not being followed.
During the 150 foreign visits made by Rahul Gandhi since 1991, he had not taken the SPG along with him on 140 occasions. The SPG cover mandates that the VIP must share the travel itinerary well in advance. The SPG said Rahul Gandhi had shared details of the visit at the last minute.
Further Rahul Gandhi also travelled in a non bullet proof vehicle 1,800 times between 2005 and 2014 despite being advised against it. He also travelled on the roof top of a vehicle which is clearly against security protocol.
Priyanka Gandhi has used a non bullet proof vehicle 339 times. Out of the 99 foreign visits she has made since 1991, she took the SPG along only 21 times. To top this the Gandhis have also accused the SPG of trying and collecting personal details, which has irked the force.
Sonia Gandhi has used a non-bullet proof vehicle on at least 50 occasions. She had 13 unscheduled travels and did not take the SPG along on 24 foreign visits.