Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra today called the government withdrawing SPG security cover to the Gandhi family a political move. "That is a part of politics. It keeps happening," the Congress general secretary told reporters at the party headquarters in New Delhi.
The government, earlier this month, revoked the top level Special Protection Group (SPG) cover of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, basing it on a reassessment of their threat perception. The Gandhis have now been assigned Z Plus category security, which means they will be guarded by far less security personnel and the Delhi Police.
Though there have been protests by the Congress in the ongoing winter session of parliament against the move, the Home Ministry has reportedly said the "matter is closed". Top home ministry sources on Wednesday said there is "no going back on the decision, the Congress can keep asking."
The government has been saying the decision is based on the Home Ministry panel's reassessment of the security threats to the Gandhis.
After the government's move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the lone SPG protectee in the country.
SPG, a crack commando force, comes with armoured vehicles, 24-hour protection at home and an Advance Liaison Team that screens places that the protectees will visit.
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.
After the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi - Rahul Gandhi's father - the SPG Act was amended to provide security to former PMs and their families for 10 years.