Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday asserted that the SPG (Amendment) Bill, 2019 will restore the law’s original intent as it was enacted in 1988 only to protect the Prime Minister and former Prime Ministers.

He accused previous governments of amending the original law from time to time to “dilute” it, an apparent reference to the earlier decision to give the elite Special Protection Group (SPG) cover to members of the Gandhi family, which included Sonia Gandhi, Rahul and Priyanka. The Modi government recently withdrew the SPG cover from the Gandhi family members.

However, the Congress demanded that the Special Protection Group cover should be provided to former prime ministers and their family members for the rest of their lives.

Initiating the debate on the SPG (Amendment) Bill, Manish Tewari said while in June this year, the SPG had informed Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that they have a high threat perception, their cover was withdrawn within months. He sought to know the reasons for the decision to take away their SPG cover.

Tewari said in countries such as the US, Secret Service guards former presidents for the rest of their lives.