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National Politics

Centre revises SPG rules, says Gandhi family has to disclose details of foreign visits

The Centre has stated that nonacceptance of new guidelines on SPG could lead to curtailment on their foreign visits on account of security considerations

New Delhi: According to the Gandhis, issuing fresh guidelines related to the security cover the Centre has made it mandatory for the SPG personnel to accompany them at all times whenever they travel abroad.

Currently, the Special Protection Group (SPG) guards Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Till now whenever the Gandhis travelled abroad, the SPG personnel accompanying them would go till their first location abroad and then the Gandhis, preferring their privacy, can send them back to India.

As per the new guidelines also make it mandatory for the Gandhi family to submit all details related to their travel. They have been asked to supply information on their past few tours as well.

The Centre has stated that nonacceptance of new guidelines on SPG could lead to curtailment on their foreign visits on account of security considerations.

SPG set up after Indira Gandhi’s assassination:

After the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the SPG was set up in 1985 and Parliament passed the SPG Act in 1988 dedicating the group to protecting the Prime Minister of India. In the year 1989, the VP Singh government had withdrawn the SPG protection given to the outgoing PM Rajiv Gandhi.

In 1991 after Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated the SPG Act was amended, offering SPG protection to all former Prime Ministers and their families for a period of at least 10 years. The rule was amended again in 2002 to make provision for an annual review. Former prime ministers such as HD Deve Gowda also lost their SPG cover as per amendment.

Manmohan Singh’s SPG cover withdrawn

The current government in the month of August withdrew the Special Protection Group (SPG) from former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s security cover.

According to the sources, the ministry of home affairs said that Dr. Manmohan Singh will have Z-plus security instead of SPG. “The current security cover review is a periodical and professional exercise based on threat perception that is purely based on the professional assessment by security agencies. Dr. Manmohan Singh continues to have a Z+ security cover,”.

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