Rajya Sabha passes bill to amend SPG Act, Congress stages walkout
New Delhi: The Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. The Bill had been passed with a voice vote in the Lok Sabha on November 27.
According to a statement from the Home Ministry, the “family members of a former Prime Minister who reside with him at his allotted accommodation will get security cover of the SPG only for five years, from the date he/she ceases to hold the office of Prime Minister.”
The Bill was moved by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the upper House of Parliament. The Congress party, however, staged a walk-out after Shah’s reply on the Bill.
Speaking on the Bill, Home Minister Shah said that the amendment to the Bill was not brought only keeping in mind the SPG security provided to the Gandhi family and asserted that the SPG security is only for the head of the state.
“It’s not true that we’ve brought the SPG Bill by keeping only the Gandhi family in mind. Security from Gandhis was withdrawn after the threat assessment analysis even before bringing this Bill,” he said.
“This is the 5th amendment in the SPG Act. This amendment is not brought in by keeping Gandhis in mind, but, one thing that I can say for sure is that the previous 4 amendments were done by keeping only one family in mind,” he continued.
Asserting that the SPG security cannot be given to everyone, he said: “Security cannot be made a status symbol. Why there is a demand only for SPG cover? SPG cover is meant for only the head of the state. We cannot be giving it to everyone. We don’t oppose one family. We are against dynasty politics.”
Earlier while speaking in the Lok Sabha, Shah had rejected Congress allegations about “political vendetta” in the change in the security of Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and said that changes had been made in the protection Act earlier keeping “one family in mind”.
He said security has been changed for the members of Gandhi family after yearly professional assessment and the change in security has also been done under the ambit of the Act. The Home Minister added that security has been changed from SPG on the basis of an assessment of threat perception and the review was done twice and it was found that ASL is sufficient. (ANI)