Centre rejects Priyanka Gandhi Vadra`s plea to withdraw family`s special privileges at airports

In reply to a letter written by Congress president Sonia Gandhi`s daughter Priyanka to the Director of Special Protection Group (SPG) seeking withdrawal of special airport security exemptions provided to her and her family, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday ruled out scaling down the security as of now.

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2014, 21:35 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: In reply to a letter written by Congress president Sonia Gandhi`s daughter Priyanka to the Director of Special Protection Group (SPG) seeking withdrawal of special airport security exemptions provided to her and her family, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday ruled out scaling down the security as of now.

“Centre will not scale down Priyanka, Robert Vadra`s security,” Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said.

Speaking to an English news channel today, Rijiju added, “Matters of security should not be politicised and all concerned agencies will review and decide who needs security.”

Earlier in the day, Rijiju told reporters in the national capital, “I have failed to understand why someone is trying to score a political brownie point. Security does not depend on whims and fancies of any individual."
He was responding to a question on Priyanka`s letter to SPG chief where she asked the organisation to withdraw the exemption given to her and her family from normal security checks at airports, a plea that comes in the wake of reports that government is considering cancellation of such a facility to her husband Robert Vadra.

"It is better to leave to the security agencies to take a decision," Rijiju said.

In a letter to the SPG chief Durga Prasad, Priyanka had referred to media reports of possible removal of her husband`s name from the list of security protectees exempt from security checks at airports and said she would appreciate if it is done at the earliest.

Priyanka had said Vadra`s inclusion in the list was made at the instance of previous SPG chiefs and Delhi Police and not upon any request by "either of us who were informed after the fact".
Vadra was under repeated attack from Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders during the recent Lok Sabha election campaigns besides the barbs targeting Priyanka, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

"Since the government is now reportedly considering the removal of his name, I would like to inform you that I do not feel it will be correct for my children and me to avail the facility of exemption of these checks while entering or exiting airports when we are all traveling together.

It is only right for us to go through the normal channel at airports and be frisked etc. As per normal procedure at such times as you will appreciate that it makes no sense for a family traveling together to fall under different categories of exemption," Priyanka had said, PTI reported.