NEW DELHI: The Home Ministry on Monday rubbished Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's claims that the Special Protection Group (SPG) chief appointed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to quit because he refused to accept list the of SPG officers handpicked by RSS.
"The matter has been verified. The officer in question, Vivek Srivastava, former Director, Special Protection Group (SPG), has specifically averred that he did not have any such conversation with Rahul Gandhi at any point of time," the Home Ministry said.
"The officer has stated that as part of his professional duties he interacted with SPG protectees. However, he has categorically stated that during his interaction with (Rahul) Gandhi, there was no talk whatsoever regarding the appointment of a new director, or the reasons for his leaving the SPG," the ministry said in a statement.
During an interaction in Delhi on September 22, Rahul had said that the SPG chief had to quit for refusing to accept the list of officers handpicked by RSS.
The Ministry added that the force is a professional organisation which guards the serving prime minister, former prime ministers and their families. "The comment reportedly made by Gandhi through the media is baseless, devoid of fact and unfortunate, coming from an SPG protectee," the statement said.
Rahul Gandhi, his mother and former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka are among the Special Protection Group's protectees.
At an interaction with academicians on Saturday, Rahul had alleged that educational institutions, the Supreme Court and the Election Commission of India and others are "systematically being captured" by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Citing an example, the Congress chief had alleged, "When Mr (Narendra) Modi came to power, a person from Gujarat was chosen to head the SPG. In a short time, he left the position. He told me that he refused a list of SPG officers handpicked by the RSS, and that is why he was sent home."