The Congress on Friday slammed the BJP-led central government for withdrawing the Special Protection Group (SPG) security cover to the Gandhis, saying lives of the family members of two former Prime Ministers were being "compromised".
Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who were being protected by the elite SPG, will now get the Z Plus security cover, sources said. They will now be protected by 100 CRPF personnel.
"The BJP has descended to the ultimate personal vendetta mechanism, compromising the lives of family members of 2 Former Prime Ministers to acts of terror and violence," Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel tweeted.
The BJP has descended to the ultimate personal vendetta mechanism, compromising the lives of family members of 2 Former Prime Ministers to acts of terror and violence.— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) November 8, 2019
The Gandhis have been among India's most protected families after two of its members-- former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi-- had been assassinated.
The SPG was set up for the security of prime ministers and their families in 1985, a year after Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her bodyguards.
Rajiv Gandhi's assassination in 1991 prompted an amendment in the SPG Act, providing security to former PMs and their families for 10 years.
The centre has taken the decision after a security review recently, sources say. The Gandhi family was not informed.
With this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the sole protectee of the 3,000-strong force.
The centre had withdrawn the SPG cover to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year.
The Gandhis will be without the SPG protection after 28 years. They were included in the VVIP security list in September 1991.
With inputs from PTI