Withdrawal of Gandhi family’s SPG cover ‘planned conspiracy’: Gehlot

Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot hit out at the BJP government at the Centre over withdrawal of SPG cover given to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, son Rahul and daughter Priyanka and termed it “a planned conspiracy”.

The government on Friday replaced the Special Protection Group (SPG) security cover given to the family of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated by LTTE terrorists on May 21, 1991, by the ‘Z-plus’ security of the CRPF. Seeking to know the “logic and reason” behind the move, Gehlot said sometime back the SPG had warned of threats to Rahul Gandhi from the Naxals, extremists and terror groups like Al-Qaeda. “The SPG cover has been unceremoniously withdrawn and I condemn it. The security cover of SPG was accorded as per an act of parliament. The SPG had sometime back warned that Rahul Gandhi has threat from Naxals, who are active from Chhattisgarh to Wayanad (Rahul Gandhi’s constituency in Kerala), and terror groups like Al-Qaeda,” the chief minister said at a press conference here.

“What is the logic and reason behind suddenly withdrawing the SPG cover? This is a family which lost two members, one sitting prime minister Indira Gandhi and one ex-prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. (PM Narendra) Modi should reply,” he said.

Gehlot said that in 2014-15 he had written to then home minister Rajnath Singh and had complained that that a change in the SPG’s working was visible.

“I had pointed out that there were some kind of laxity in (the SPG’s) working. The SPG was not getting cooperation from local police and had cited example of Sonia Gandhi’s visits to Kota and other places. I had asked (then home minister) to strengthen the functioning (of the force). Now, Amit Shah is the home minister. What is the reason that such a decision was taken when he is the home minister?” he asked.

On reports about security breach by Rahul Gandhi, the chief minister alleged that it was the prime minister who breaches the security norms and should not do this. “Modi breaches SPG security rules. He is the prime minister and he should not do this. He should follow security rules,” CM Gehlot said.