Rajya Sabha passes SPG (Amendment) Bill; Cong, DMK, Left walkout
03 December 2019
The Rajya Sabha today passed the SPG (Amendment) Bill 2019 as Congress, DMK and Left MPs staged walkout during the voting on the bill over withdrawal of SPG cover to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children.
Addressing the Rajya Sabha before the passage of the bill, union minister of home affairs Amit Shah made it clear that there was no merit in the claim that the government was acting out of political vendetta and the changes to the SPG law were not aimed at targeting the Gandhi family.
"We are not opposing the parivaar (family), but parivaar-vaad (nepotism). India's democracy cannot run like this. Why talk of only the security of the Gandhi family? The security of 130 crore Indians, including the Gandhi family, is the government's responsibility," he said.
"Former Prime Ministers' SPG cover has also been withdrawn. Narsimha Rao, Chandrashekar, IK Gujral, Manmohan Singh are among former PMs whose SPG security cover has been withdrawn. In a democracy, the law is the same for everyone, not special for a family," the home minister said.
Shah stressed that this is the 5th amendment in the SPG Act and the previous four amendments were done keeping in mind only the Gandhi family. "This is the 5th amendment in the SPG Act. This amendment is not brought in by keeping Gandhis in mind, but, one thing that I can say for sure is that the previous 4 amendments were done by keeping only one family in mind," Shah said.
Meanwhile, there was high drama over what Congress circles said, security breach at Priyanka Gandhi’s residence with people unauthorisedly entering for selfies with Priyanka.
A Congress worker from Meerut Sharda Tyagi said that her family was stunned to see that the guards removed the barricade and opened the gate for their car to enter without any enquiry. They constantly looked behind to check if the gates were opened for some other car to enter. However, they found out that no other car was behind them.
Sharda Tyagi claimed to have managed to breach the Z+ security at Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's residence in central Delhi's high-security Lodhi Estate on 25 November. As per sources, Sharda wanted to meet Priyanka to seek support for her son Chandra Shekhar, who is contesting an election for MLC in Uttar Pradesh. However, she is equally shocked at the easy entry at Priyanka's house.
Sharda said that she has in the past visited Sonia Gandhi several times but never witnessed such a security breach.
The guards opened the main gate as soon as her car entered the lane, she claimed.