The debate over the bill seeking to amend the rule for SPG protection in Parliament saw the INC stage a walkout for an alleged ‘dilution’ in the protective cover offered to the Nehru-Gandhi family after Shah pointed out that Rahul Gandhi wantonly breached the rules of SPG that his party was asking for him. The Special Protection Group (SPG) Act Amendment Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha today. Union Home Minister Amit Shah proposed to amend the SPG Security Act to offer SPG protection only for the prime minister and those living with him in his residence.
Anand Sharma, Manish Tewari and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury from the Congress in the Lok Sabha raised several questions during the debate, opposing the amended bill. But the home minister put the Congress in the dock by saying that they were demanding the safety of only one family. “I want to assure you that adequate security has been put in place,” Shah said.
In the Lok Sabha, the home minister said that members of the Nehru-Gandhi family made several trips without informing the SPG. This happened about 600 times, Shah said. INC leader Rahul Gandhi had travelled 1,892 times inside India without informing the SPG since 2015 and about 247 times abroad without telling the SPG, he added. “What secrets were hidden behind this?” Shah asked.
“Look at Rajnath (Singh) ji! For many years, the security personnel went to drop him even up to the toilet; yet he never said anything,” the home minister remarked in Parliament.
Shah said that, after reviewing the security requirements, “no one had said (former Prime Minister) Chandrashekhar ji‘s security had been withdrawn while Chandrashekhar ji was a very big leader”.
“No one took sought the protection of (former Prime Minister) Narasimha Rao ji. The safety of Indra Kumar Gujral was withdrawn. Even then no one protested,” said the home minister.
Earlier, while presenting the Special Protection Group (SPG) Act Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha, the Union home minister had said, “I am bringing an amendment in the Special Protection Group (SPG) Act. After the amendment, under this Act, SPG cover will be given only to a prime minister and his family members who live with him at his official residence.”
“The SPG cover will be given also to a former prime minister and his family residing at a government allotted residence for a period of 5 years,” Shah said.