Amid the controversy over the removal of Special Protection Group cover for the Gandhi family, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday said the move was “part of politics”, PTI reported. “This keeps happening,” she said.
She was speaking to reporters at the Congress’ headquarters in New Delhi. Gandhi also brought up the condition of the economy and said that it was in “bad shape”, terming it a “severe slowdown”. She said that her party had been drawing the central government’s attention to the financial slowdown and that the Narendra Modi-led government needed to do something about the economic crisis.
Gandhi’s comments come a day after Congress leaders in Parliament brought up the removal of SPG cover for the family and protested the move. Members of the party’s youth wing had also burnt an effigy of Union Home Minister Amit Shah due to the change in security cover.
The Special Protection Group was set up in 1985 following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi the year before. In 1991, after the assassination of Indira Gandhi’s son Rajiv Gandhi, the SPG Act was amended to allow the force to protect former prime ministers for 10 years.
Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi, Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi and party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have now been granted Z-plus category protection across India, which entitles them to protection by the Central Reserve Police Force. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the only leader with SPG security currently.
In August, the government had withdrawn former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Special Protection Group security cover. The elite force has more than 3,000 personnel, and protects prime ministers, former prime ministers and their families.