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Family of Ex-PMs May Soon be Out of SPG Act as Centre Plans to Introduce Amendment Bill in Parl Next Week

News18.com

Last Updated: November 22, 2019, 17:18 IST

A file photo og Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

A file photo og Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

After the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the PV Narasimha Rao government amended the SPG Act to provide the special security to former prime ministers and immediate family for 10 years.

New Delhi: The Centre is mulling to introduce SPG amendment bill next week in Parliament, reserving special protection only for the present prime minister, top government sources said.

According to the proposed amendment, family members of the former prime ministers would not be entitled to the coveted SPG security cover, officials said. The proposed amendment in the SPG Act was approved by the Union cabinet on Wednesday, an official said.

The development comes days after the central government revoked the SPG protection of Gandhis. Rahul Gandhi, his mother Sonia Gandhi, and sister Priyanka Gandhi are now getting 'Z+' security by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on an all-India basis.

Delhi Congress leaders and workers on Friday held a protest march at the Jantar Mantar here and slammed the government for withdrawal of the SPG cover given to the Gandhis. The protesters tried to march towards the Parliament House but were stopped at a police barricade.

The decision, the sources said, was taken after multiple security agencies carried out a threat perception assessment and found there was no direct threat to them. "Recently, a decision was taken after assessing threat inputs from all agencies," senior officials aware of the developments said.

The SPG cover is the highest tier of security in the country. Officials assured that the security of the Gandhi family will not be compromised. The government had recently also withdrawn the SPG cover of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now the only person to be protected by the about-4,000-personnel-strong SPG. Under the rules, SPG protectees are provided with guards, hi-tech vehicles, jammers and an ambulance in their cavalcade.

After the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the PV Narasimha Rao government amended the SPG Act to provide the special security to former prime ministers and immediate family for 10 years, and provided for continuation of the cover till the government thinks it is required.

(With inputs from PTI)
first published:November 22, 2019, 14:00 IST
last updated:November 22, 2019, 17:18 IST