SPG amendments not intended on Gandhi family: Amit Shah

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 03, 2019 Published on December 03, 2019

File photo of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the Rajya Sabha during the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament, in New Delhi   -  PTI

Union Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah defended the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill in Rajya Sabha and said the Bill is not aimed at one family and the only person who is likely to be affected by the Bill is Prime Minister Narendra Modi — that too, only after he completes his term in the office.

Justifying the fifth amendment to the Act, he said the four amendments in the past were for “one family.” The Bill was later passed in the Upper House as the Opposition members walked out protesting Shah’s reply.

Congress, Left, DMK and RJD members had opposed the Bill and said it is politically motivated. The parties urged the Centre to reconsider the decision to remove SPG cover to Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and replace it with Z category.

To the Opposition’s charge that there was a breach of security at the residence of Vadra, Shah said it was coincidental and said three security officers have been suspended and a probe is on into the matter. He urged the Congress to stop insisting for SPG cover. “SPG cover should be for the head of the State. That is Government’s approach. After five years, Modi will also not get SPG security if he is not the Prime Minister,” he said and maintained that the Gandhi family is getting the best security as of now and it was reviewed based on the threat perceptions.

He said the BJP does not approve dynasty politics. “Are we in a democracy or in Middle Ages? Law should be same to one and all,” he said.

Initiating the debate on the Bill, Congress MP Vivek Tankha urged the Centre to rise above party politics. “What kind of democracy it is? You are putting the Opposition to threat,” Tankha said. “God forbid, if one more fatal incident happens then who would take blame of it?”, he asked.

BJP MP Neeraj Shekhar, son of former Prime Minister Chandrasekhar, said there was no need for SPG cover for the family of former prime ministers. “We are spending money on this, which is not needed,” he said.

CPI(M) MP KK Ragesh said the Centre should keep in mind the sacrifices of the Gandhi family while reviewing the security. There were also references to the BJP MP Pragya Thakur’s hailing of Nathuram Godse as a patriot. The Opposition MPs said the Gandhi family is facing threat from communal forces in the country.

Published on December 03, 2019
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