SPG (Amendment) Bill 2019 passed by the Rajya Sabha, not aimed at Gandhis

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New Delhi: The Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday evening amid a walkout by the Congress. The Bill has already been cleared by the Lok Sabha last week and will now go to the President for his assent.

Replying to the debate in the upper house, Union Home Minister Amit Shah rejected the Congress charge that the government had brought the Bill to remove the SPG security cover of the Gandhis.

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“It’s not true that we’ve brought the SPG Bill by keeping only the Gandhi family in mind. Security from Gandhis was withdrawn following the threat assessment analysis even before bringing this Bill,” he said.

“This is the 5th amendment in the SPG Act. This amendment is not brought in by keeping Gandhis in mind, but, one thing that I can say for sure is that the previous four amendments were done by keeping only one family in mind,” he added.

The Home Minister wanted to know in the House why was the Congress demanding only SPG cover for the Gandhis? “Security cannot be made a status symbol. Why demand only SPG cover? SPG cover is meant for only the ‘head of the state’, we cannot give it to everyone. We don’t oppose one family, we are against dynasty politics,” he said.

Slamming the CPI(M) for levelling allegation of ‘political vendetta’ against the NDA government, Shah said: “CPI(M) ko toh haq hi nahi hai ye kehne ka ki political vendetta se sarkaar chal rahi hai. Aaapne issi political vendetta se Kerala mein 120 BJP karyakarta maar diye.”

The SPG (Amendment) Bill aims to amend the provisions of the SPG Act under which security by Special Protection Group personnel is provided to top politicians.