Hundreds of Congress workers on Friday staged protests outside Union Home Minister Amit Shah's residence after removal of Gandhi family's SPG security cover. The Congress party said that Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah have been blinded by “personal revenge and political vendetta”.
“PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah has been blinded by personal revenge and political vendetta. This is proved by unceremonious withdrawal of SPG cover of ma'am Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi,” senior Congress leader KC Venugopal said during a press conference in Delhi.
Venugopal said that the SPG act was amended by Atal Bihari Vajpayee to provide the security cover to the Gandhi family following the assassination of former prime ministers and Congress leaders Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
“Two former PMs of India, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were murdered, and it was Atal Bihari Vajpayee who amended the law to give the family of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, the SPG cover. Modi and Shah have undone it now,” he added.
Reacting to the Home Ministry’s decision to remove the SPG security protection of Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Patel said that the BJP was compromising the lives of family members of two former prime ministers.
The Gandhi family has been among the targets of terrorists for a long time. Sonia Gandhi’s husband and former prime minister Rajeev Gandhi was assassinated by terrorists. Indira Gandhi, another Congress leader and former prime minister was also assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards.
The need for the Special Protection Group or SPG was in fact felt after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. The SPG Act, enacted by Parliament in 1988, was initially supposed to provide security to only the prime minister and former prime ministers of the country. The Act, however, was amended after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi to include the immediate family members of former prime ministers, paving the way for Sonia Gandhi as well her children to get SPG security.