Congress protests in Parliament against withdrawal of SPG cover to Gandhi family

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The Congress on Tuesday protested in Lok Sabha against the withdrawal of the Special Protection Group (SPG) protection of party interim president Sonia Gandhi and her two children – Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Raising the issue in the lower house, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the Gandhi family had SPG security cover since 1991, and the BJP-led NDA governments in the past had not taken such a step.

“Sonia Gandhi ji & Rahul Gandhi ji are not normal protectees. Vajpayee ji [former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee] had allowed Special Protection Group (SPG) protection for the Gandhi family. From 1991-2019, NDA came to power twice but their SPG cover was never removed,” Chowdhury was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The trio is now protected by the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) under Z plus category, which ensures security cover by around 100 personnel.

DMK leader TR Baalu also sought to raise the issue, saying that there was threat perception to the Gandhi family. Chowdhury gave a notice to move an adjournment motion in Lok Sabha against the withdrawal of SPG cover to the Gandhi family. But that was rejected by the Speaker.

An adjournment motion is moved to stop the proceedings of the house to take up the issue raised in the motion.

Whereas, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said that the Congress had given an adjournment notice on the issue and since it had not been accepted by the Speaker, they could not raise the issue in the zero hour. The party has to give a zero hour notice to raise the issue, he added.

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Congress members raised slogans against the government, saying that “attacks on the opposition should stop”.

The protest started during question hour, and over 20 leaders of the Congress and the National Conference walked into the well of the lower house during question hour even as Speaker Om Birla asked them to return to their seats.

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