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Posted at: Nov 20, 2019, 6:55 AM; last updated: Nov 20, 2019, 9:30 AM (IST)

Cong walks out over SPG withdrawal

Says Gandhis aren’t ‘normal protectees’, govt acting ‘arbitrarily’

Naidu for review of marshals’ uniform

  • Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday directed the Rajya Sabha Secretariat to review the new military-style uniforms of marshals, after concerns were raised from several quarters, including ex-Army officers and parliamentarians.

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 19

Congress leaders today staged a walkout in the Lok Sabha over the withdrawal of the SPG cover of the Gandhi family.

Party leaders walked out of the House during the Zero Hour as Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla did not concede to their demand to have a discussion on the issue.

Earlier, during the Question Hour, some Congress MPs started gathering near Speaker’s podium and raised slogans. Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury tried to start a discussion on the issue, but the Speaker did not allow him to speak. Chowdhury said, “Sonia Gandhi ji and Rahul Gandhi ji are not normal protectees. Vajpayee ji had allowed the SPG cover for the Gandhi family. Between 1991 and 2019, the NDA came to power twice, but their SPG cover was never withdrawn.” Earlier, the Congress issued a notice to move an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha in this regard.

In the notice, the party said the Centre’s move to withdraw the SPG cover was “arbitrary”, adding that there were “existing and probable threats” to the Gandhi family.

On November 8, the Centre withdrew the SPG cover of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. They now have Z+ security.

Meanwhile, Peoples Democratic Party Rajya Sabha MP Mir Mohammad Fayaz, in a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, today demanded release of all political leaders, including three former Chief Ministers — Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.

Fayaz said J&K had seen a massive rise in the presence of armed forces and the severe curtailment of human rights since the abrogation of Article 370. In the letter, he said the detained leaders had been facing extremely poor living conditions. “We strongly demand the release of all political leaders, party workers and the three former CMs. They have been detained for more than three and a half months. Recently, when the detained leaders were being shifted to a new jail, they were dealt with in a very humiliating manner,” Fayaz said in the letter.


‘Vajpayee allowed it’

Sonia Gandhi ji and Rahul Gandhi ji are not normal protectees. Vajpayee ji had allowed the SPG cover for the Gandhi family. Between 1991 and 2019, the NDA came to power twice, but their SPG cover was never withdrawn. — Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Cong

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