Centre removes SPG cover of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul and Priyanka

New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS): The Special Protection Group (SPG) cover given to Gandhis, including Congress Interim President Sonia and her children, has been withdrawn and they will now get 'Z plus' security provided by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), officials said on Friday.

The SPG security will be withdrawn from the New Delhi residences of Sonia, her son Rahul and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra after the CRPF takes over the responsibility, a Home Ministry official said.

Sources said the government's decision has been conveyed to the Gandhi family, but the people close to the family said they have not been informed. The decision is set to become a huge political flashpoint, with Congress leaders perceiving the move as "downgrading" of the security of the Gandhis, who have been enjoying the SPG cover since the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on May 21, 1991.


The decision to withdraw SPG security, the country's highest grade of protection, was taken after a review involving the Cabinet Secretariat and the Ministry of Home Affairs with inputs from various intelligence agencies, officials said.

In the wake of the latest decision, the top security cover will now be given only to the Prime Minister.

The 'Z plus' security means the Gandhis will be guarded by around 100 CRPF personnel. According to procedures laid down by the SPG Act, 1988, Gandhis' SPG security cover was renewed annually after a review of threats faced by them.

The SPG was set up in 1985 after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

Parliament passed the SPG Act in 1988, dedicating the group to protecting the Prime Minister. At the time, the Act did not include former Prime Ministers.

When V.P. Singh came to power in 1989, his government withdrew SPG protection given to his predecessor Rajiv Gandhi. In 2003, the Vajpayee government again amended the SPG Act to bring the period of automatic protection down from 10 years to "a period of one year from the date on which the former prime minister ceased to hold office" and beyond one year based on the level of threat as decided by the government.

In August, the Centre had also withdrawn SPG protection given to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur and they were accorded 'Z plus' security of CRPF.


Comment on this article

  • Deshbhakht, Mangalore

    Fri, Nov 8 2019

    Why did Modi govt take six years to shed this expense ?

    DisAgree [10] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse


    Fri, Nov 8 2019

    They thought these are excess luggage to the nation and nation is rejected them with grace ! time to migrate ITALY !

    DisAgree [40] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Clifford, Mangalore

    Fri, Nov 8 2019

    This is nothing but revenge politics by no2. When you look at the state of nation now, BJP politicians may need SPG protection and also chelas like Baba’s.

    DisAgree [16] Agree [38] Reply Report Abuse

  • AnoNymouS, Mangalore

    Fri, Nov 8 2019

    Good move by Amit Shah to eliminate his opponents. Hoping that someone else does the job for him. But he has forgotten that they will not be ruling the country FOREVER, and there will come a time when they will be living among normal people and all the Karma that they have done will catch up to them.

    DisAgree [30] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • PenMightierThanTheSword!, Mangalore

    Fri, Nov 8 2019

    AnoNymouS, Mangalore — very well said!Without a doubt karma will have the last word for Shah and Modi and it will happen with vengeance — never mess around with Karma!!!

    DisAgree [4] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sridhar, Mangalore

    Fri, Nov 8 2019

    Very good move by the government!

    DisAgree [67] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • Nice, Mangalore

    Fri, Nov 8 2019

    I guess the Government did this to save some money and improve the countries Economy after Moody's downgrades India's credit rating outlook to 'negative' from 'stable'

    Is my government asking 3 More sacrifices from the Gandhi to save the economy ?


    DisAgree [5] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prashant Karkera, Hejamady/Mumbai

    Fri, Nov 8 2019

    Very appropriate move by the government, security to VVIPs should be reviewed every year and accordingly to be upgraded and downgraded .....
    Infact,not a single minister of union government is given SPG cover, except the PM ....
    Gandhi family enjoyed SPG cover for the last 3 decades after its act amended to accommodate them .....

    DisAgree [48] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Germany

    Sat, Nov 9 2019

    @Prashath Karkera Hejmady,It is not a fine way to do this.In no country this will be done.They should get immunity and security .This shows how our present govt.is acting as if not have any idea of governing a Nation.Same time it will return to them when their time comes.Cows are secure in this country and Babas. shame on them.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shashidhar poonja, Mangalore

    Fri, Nov 8 2019

    BJP an expert in revenge politics

    DisAgree [24] Agree [71] Reply Report Abuse

  • H. Almeida., Bendur/Andheri

    Fri, Nov 8 2019

    Belated, but correct decision, by the Union government, to deny them exclusive SPG cover to the Royal family !!!!!! Crores, will now be available to the nation for new development assignments.... All irrelevant politicians and their families must now be evicted from palatial government palaces, bungalows !!!!! They enjoyed luxurious lives, at the expense of our hard paid tax revenue.... Let the Gandhi's pay for security cover.... all previous expenses for their security, must be recovered n transferred back to our nation treasury !!!!!!!

    DisAgree [30] Agree [30] Reply Report Abuse

  • jason saldanha, kuwait/mangalore

    Sat, Nov 9 2019

    Development........? where

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • jason saldanha, kuwait/mangalore

    Sat, Nov 9 2019

    pumpwell bridge

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sunil Kumar, Mangalore

    Fri, Nov 8 2019

    From waitress to kalvedhi princesses... Avoli

    DisAgree [73] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rajesh Kumar, Mangalore.

    Sat, Nov 9 2019

    Same like Smriti Iranani from Bar dancer, marriage beaker to Polititcan..

    DisAgree [2] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse


Title : Centre removes SPG cover of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul and Priyanka


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