, URGES CENTRE TO REVIEW DECISION IN PREVAILING SECURITY SCENARIO
Chandigarh, November 8: Strongly condemning the withdrawal of SPG cover from Sonia Gandhi and her children, Rahul and Priyanka, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has demanded immediate revocation of the central government’s ‘politically motivated’ decision.
Reacting to the announcement of the Centre’s decision, the Chief Minister urged the central government to reconsider its decision, particularly in view of the security scenario currently prevailing in the country, with the terror threat from across the border growing every day.
Considering that Sonia Gandhi’s husband Rajiv Gandhi and mother-in-law Indira Gandhi were assassinated, the grant of SPG cover to the Gandhi family was not a political favour but a necessity, said Captain Amarinder.
By withdrawing the Special Protection (SPG) cover of the Congress President, as well as MP Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the central government had showed extreme pettiness and a total disregard for the safety of a family that had made huge sacrifices for the country, the Chief Minister said.
Recalling the SPG withdrawal of former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh a few months ago, the Chief Minister said neither decision was based on ground reality. The reason given for SPG withdrawal of the Gandhis clearly endorsed this, he said, citing reports indicating that the security review that led to the latest decision had found that the Gandhi family ‘did not cooperate and impeded smooth functioning of SPG by not using the SPG protection on several occasions.’
“Does that justify the withdrawal of the SPG cover from the family,” he asked, adding that if the Centre did feel so strongly about this, it should have taken up the matter with the Gandhis. Not using the SPG protection cannot be interpreted to mean that the security threat that had necessitated the cover in the first place had disappeared, he added.
Captain said that in Punjab, he had ensured continuation of the same security cover to former Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, and his son and former Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Badal, that they enjoyed while in office in view of the threat they continue to face.