Gandhi family SPG security cover withdrawn: The highest tier security cover provided to the three Gandhi family members will be downgraded after the security agencies found no direct threat to their lives. Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, former party president Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi are being protected by the Special Protection Group (SPG) which is set to be withdrawn.

The trio will be given a Z-plus security cover and the Central Reserve Police Personnel will take charge of the security of the Congress leaders. Only four persons in India — the three Congress leaders and the incumbent prime minister — are protected under the SPG.

Reacting to the government’s move, Congress has termed it a personal vendetta against the Gandhi family. In a tweet, Congress leader Ahmed Patel said that the BJP-led NDA government has compromised the lives of two former prime ministers to acts of terror and violence. National Congress Party, an ally of the Congres in Maharashtra, has called it a vindictive politics. It also said the move was an attempt to humiliate the leaders. Meanwhile, the trio Gandhi family members have not reacted yet.

Reports said that the CRPF commandoes have reached the residence of former Congress president and Wayanad MP to take the charge. After the Union government’s decision to withdraw SPG cover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the lone person in the country to be protected by SPG personnel.

The move came nearly three months after the highest tier security cover of former prime minister Manmohan Singh was downgraded. He was then given Z-plus security cover. The SPG was formed in 1988 under the SPG Act, following the killing of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. She was assassinated by her bodyguards.

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The rules of the SPG Act, 1988 were amended following the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. After its rules were amended, the force of around 3,000 personnel was also deputed to the families of all prime ministers. Rajiv, the father of Rahul, was also assassinated in 1991.

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