The Gandhi Family will be void of SPG Cover after 28 years, replacing with Z-Plus security. Only PM Narendra Modi to be given protection by SPG Commandos.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi along with her children, Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were given the SPG (Special Protection Group) security cover. But now the Government of India has decided to provide them with only Z-Plus security by the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force)
The SPG force of roughly 3000 personnel was formed in 1985 following the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi. Later the Act was amended after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and thereby included his family members to get SPG security.
Now, under the Z-plus security, the Gandhi family will get commandos from Paramilitary forces in close proximity along with their guards who will be stationed at their residence and also when they travel within the country.
This decision was taken after multiple security agencies carried out threat perception assessment and found that there was no direct threat to the Gandhi family.
Recently the SPG cover of former Prime minister Manmohan Singh was also withdrawn. He was entitled to the SPG cover for one year after he resigned from the office in 2014. Later his security cover was renewed due to the threats faced by him and his wife Gursharan Kaur.
Taking this into account, the senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said
"The BJP has descended to the ultimate personal vendetta mechanism, compromising the lives of family members of 2 Former Prime Ministers to acts of terror and violence,"
The SPG cover is treated as one of the highest tier of security in the country for top leaders and VVIPs. The Gandhi family was included in the VVIP list as per the SPG Act of 1988 and they were given this security in September 1991.
For now, only the Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be protected by the SPG commandos. He will be given protection of the guards, hi-tech vehicles with jammers and an ambulance in the carcade.