The family members of former prime ministers will not be guarded by the elite Special Protection Group commandos, as per the amendments approved by the Union cabinet to the SPG Act, PTI said while quoting official sources. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal told the Lok Sabha on Friday that the SPG Act (Amendment) Bill had been listed in the government's business for next week. This comes days after the government withdrew the SPG protection given to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, after almost three decades.
Elite SPG commandos protects the prime minister and his/her immediate family, former prime ministers and their immediate family for a certain period depending on the threat perception. While listing out the government's business for next week in Lok Sabha, Meghwal said besides other bills, the SPG (Amendment) Bill will also be introduced.
Earlier on Thursday, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday said that the removal of SPG cover from the Gandhi family was part of politics which keeps happening. “That's a part of politics. It keeps happening,” she said while speaking to reports in the national capital. She also said the country's economy is in a ‘bad state’ and there is a ‘severe slowdown’, to which the Congress has been drawing the government's attention, and the Centre must do something about it.
“Economy is in very bad state, there is slowdown and the govt must do something,” Priyanka Gandhi said.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Anand Sharma on Wednesday demanded in Rajya Sabha restoration of the SPG cover to the Gandhi family and former prime minister Manmohan Singh by "rising above partisan politics" but senior BJP leaders maintained the decision was taken by the Home Ministry based on threat perception.
The central government earlier this month replaced the Special Protection Group (SPG) security cover given to Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi, daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and former prime minister Singh by the 'Z-plus' security of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).