CRPF to shield Gandhi family; SPG withdrawn; Political vendetta, cries INC
New Delhi, Nov 8 (UNI) CRPF personnel took up positions at 10, Janpath, on Friday- a day a high-decibel controversy broke out over the withdrawal of Special Protection Group cover to the members of the first family of the Indian National Congress.
Accusations flew thick and fast.
Congress leaders termed the step political vendetta. But the Bharatiya Janata Party maintained that the decision was taken after an assessment by multiple security agencies that there was no direct threat perception to the Gandhis.
Created in 1988 after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her bodyguards after Operation Blue Star, the Special Protection Group cover is the highest tier of surveillance in the nation. At present, only four persons were covered by it-Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the three members of the Gandhi family.
Based, the sources said, upon the feedback from agencies, the government decided to scale down the security cover of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, party leader Rahul Gandhi and All India Congress Committee general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
In August, the government's scaling down the security cover of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had drawn flak from the Opposition.
The Gandhi family--United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Mr Rahul Gandhi and Ms Priyanka Gandhi-- will now get 'Z+' security by the Central Reserve Police Force on an all-India basis.
Eds: pick up suitably.
UNI DEVN-KNA RP2102