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Amarinder condemns Centre's withdrawal of Gandhi family's SPG cover

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

Strongly condemning the withdrawal of SPG cover of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul and Priyanka, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday demanded immediate revocation of the Centre's "politically motivated" 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, Amarinder Singh said.

"By withdrawing the Special Protection Group (SPG) cover of the Congress president, as well as MP Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the central government has 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 Manmohan Singh a few months ago, Amarinder Singh said neither decision was based on ground reality.

The reason given for SPG withdrawal of the Gandhis clearly endorsed this, he said, citing reports which indicated that the security review which led to the latest decision had found 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 said, 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, the chief minister added.

Amarinder Singh said 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.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, November 08 2019. 18:15 IST