New Delhi, Nov 20 (IANS) Protesting government’s move to withdraw SPG security cover of Gandhi family and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Congress on Wednesday raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha and urged the government to restore special protection.
Party leader Anand Sharma said that restoration of the SPG cover to the four leaders was in national interest.
Sharma noted that there was a threat to the personal safety, security and life of the four leaders of the party and hence government needs to rise above “partisan politics” and restore the SPG cover.
“Please rise above this and review and restore. That would be in the national interest as otherwise the intention would be questioned today, tomorrow and in the future,” the Congress leader stressed.
Sharma has also given a notice under rule 267 to the Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu.
The Congress party has been raising the issue of downgrading security cover of its four top leaders. It has raised the issue in the Lok Sabha too, demanding review of the government decision.
The Modi government has, however, refused to budge from its position maintaining that such decisions are based on a thorough review of threats by the Home Ministry panel and no political intervention is involved.
While making the case for reinstating the SPG cover, Congress Party in the Rajya Sabha said that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was in office for 10 years. Further, Sonia Gandhi besides being chairperson of the UPA, is daughter-in-law of martyred Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and wife of martyred Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
“Therefore, there is a very clear evaluation of threat perception. Withdrawal of SPG cover makes them vulnerable,” Anand Sharma said.
Further, it is the responsibility of the state to protect its leaders.
“I remember, sir, when UPA was in office, considering this aspect, no security cover of the former Prime Ministers including that of, I am not making a political point, Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji for 10 years was disturbed. All other protectees… their cover was neither diluted nor withdrawn,” Anand Sharma said.