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Sunday, Dec 08, 2019

Priyanka Gandhi’s one-line answer to withdrawal of Gandhis’ SPG cover

The government had earlier this month replaced SPG security cover given to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra with Z-plus security cover of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

india Updated: Nov 21, 2019 22:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. (Photo ANI)
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. (Photo ANI)
         

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday weighed in the back-and-forth between the Congress and the BJP over the government’s decision to remove SPG protection for the three leaders from the Gandhi family. She told reporters that it was “part of politics” and something that “keeps happening”, according to news agency ANI.

This is the first time that a Gandhi has spoken on the rearrangement of their security template.

The government had earlier this month replaced SPG security cover given to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra with Z-plus security cover of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

ALSO WATCH | Gandhis’ SPG cover removal row explodes in Rajya Sabha: Who said what

The congress had launched a sharp attack at the BJP-led national government in parliament and outside over securty issue of Gandhis.

On Wednesday, raising the issue during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, Congress leader Anand Sharma said that state is duty bound to protect its leaders and their safety has to be “beyond party and political considerations”. The Congress’s pitch was supported by members of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, both allies of the Congress.

Sharma urged the House to “review and restore (the SPG cover). That would be in national interest. Otherwise the intention would be questioned today, tomorrow and in the future”.

Making his case, the Congress leader impressed upon the House that during the Congress-led UPA government the security cover of former prime ministers, including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was never disturbed. “I am not making a political point…All other protectees, their cover was neither diluted nor withdrawn (by the UPA government),” he said.

Defending the government in the House, BJP working president JP Nadda downplayed any political motive behind the move. “The home ministry has a set pattern and there is a protocol. This is not done by a politician. It is done by the home ministry. According to threat perception, security is given and withdrawn,” Nadda said.