Amid massive protests by the Congress MPs over a breach of security at Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s residence, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday (December 3) said in Rajya Sabha it was “coincidence” that a Congress worker from Uttar Pradesh arrived in an identical car used by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi at the same time he was expected to arrive at Priyanka's house in Delhi. Shah informed the Upper house that three security officers have been suspended for dereliction of duty.
“Priyanka Gandhi got information that Rahul Gandhi was coming to meet her in black SUV, but another black SUV came at the same time which had Meerut Congress leader Sharda Tyagi in it. The car and timing were same, such was the coincidence. That’s why the car with Sharda Tyagi went in without security check. Then also, we’ve ordered high-level probe & suspended 3 officers responsible for breach,” Shah said during a debate on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Rajya Sabha.
The Union Home Minister slammed the Congress for opposing the Centre's decision to withdraw the Special Protection Group (SPG) cover to the Gandhi family and said that security cannot become a status symbol.
Shah remarked that the BJP is not against the Gandhi family but the party will always take a tough stand against the dynastic politics. “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 said.
It is to be noted that the SPG (Amendment) Bill 2019 was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday as Congress, DMK and Left MPs staged walk out during the voting on the bill.
Addressing the Rajya Sabha before the passage of the bill, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that there was no merits in the claim that the government was acting out of political vendetta and the changes to the SPG law were not aimed at targeting the Gandhi family.
"We are not opposing the parivaar (family), but parivaar-vaad (nepotism). India's democracy cannot run like this. Why talk of only the security of the Gandhi family? The security of 130 crore Indians including the Gandhi family is the government's responsibility," he said.
"Former Prime Ministers' SPG cover has also been withdrawn. Narsimha Rao, Chandrashekar, IK Gujral, Manmohan Singh are among former PMs whose SPG security cover has been withdrawn. In a democracy, the law is the same for everyone, not special for a family," added the Union Home Minister.
On November 8, the Ministry of Home Affairs had decided to withdraw the SPG cover given to the Gandhi family, including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, and give them 'Z Plus' security provided by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The decision was taken at a high-level meeting of the MHA after threat assessment to the Gandhi family was done from different agencies. According to the intelligence bureau, there is no direct threat to the Gandhi family.