Rajya Sabha passes SPG Bill amid protests by Congress; Amit Shah says security for Gandhi family can't be a status symbol

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday hit out at the Congress over its continued protest over removal of SPG cover to the Gandhi family

  • Adding that security cannot be status symbol, he questioned the clamour for claiming SPG cover

  • He said that the SPG cover was meant for the head of the state and was taken away once the tenure was over

The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the Special Protection Group Bill, amid loud protests by the Congress over removal of the security force's cover for the Gandhi family.

Earlier, during  a discussion on the bill, Union home minister Amit Shah hit out at the Congress over its protests, saying security cannot be a status symbol.

 Rajya Sabha passes SPG Bill amid protests by Congress; Amit Shah says security for Gandhi family cant be a status symbol

Amit Shah during discussion on SPG bill. ANI

Shah, who moved the SPG Amendment Bill, said,"This bill hasn't been brought keeping in mind the Gandhi family. The SPG has been taken away after proper assessment on threats facing them."

He also said that the members of the Gandhi family were being protected by people who were a part of the SPG .

Adding that security cannot be status symbol, he questioned the clamour for claiming SPG cover. He said that the SPG cover was meant for the head of the state and was taken away once the tenure was over.

"VP Singh's security, too, was taken away. Narasimha Rao went through the same. IK Gujral, too, went through it. Recently, Manmohan Singh's security was reduced as well. Congress did not do anything or raise its voice," he alleged.

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"Why is there talk of security only for the Gandhi family? The security of 130 crore Indians, including the Gandhi family is the responsibility of the government," Shah said.

Responding to CPM's Binoy Viswam's allegations of political vendetta, he claimed, "Twenty workers of the BJP have been killed in Kerala due to political vendetta. CPM has no right to accuse us of political vendetta." The home minister's statement led to an uproar in the House.

Shah also spoke about an alleged security breach at the residence of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. He said that the incident occurred due to "some confusion", but an inquiry has been ordered and three people have been suspended.

The Gandhi family included in the VVIP security list following an amendment in September 1991 in the SPG Act of 1988. On 27 November, the Lok Sabha passed a bill to amend the SPG Act.

According to the amendment, the SPG will now protect the prime minister and members of his immediate family residing with him at his official residence. It will also provide security to former prime ministers and their immediate family members staying with them at the residence allotted for a period of five years from the date on which they cease to hold the office.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 03, 2019 17:02:26 IST


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