Rahul Gandhi’s office says cars given to him ‘suffocating’, MHA official refutes

In a letter to the director of the Special Protection Group (SPG), Vivek Srivastava, the aide Kaushal Kishore Vidyarthee conveyed the Congress leader's reservation in using Tata Safari armoured vehicle assigned to him while travelling in the country.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: August 8, 2017 8:42 pm
Rahul gandhi, rahul gandhi cars, rahul gandhi trips, congress, latest news, indian express File Photo: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi meet family members in Jaipur (Express photo by Rohit Jain Paras)

A close aide of Rahul Gandhi had conveyed to the government that the armoured vehicles provided to the Congress vice president were “suffocating” and a “health hazard”, a claim rejected on Tuesday by the Union Home Ministry. In a letter to the director of the Special Protection Group (SPG), Vivek Srivastava, the aide Kaushal Kishore Vidyarthee conveyed the Congress leader’s reservation in using Tata Safari armoured vehicle assigned to him while travelling in the country.

In the letter, sent on April 28, 2016, Vidyarthee said the current fleet of armoured cars have no proper or adequate circulation/ventilation or air in the passenger compartment. “To be specific, windows of the armoured cars do not retract beyond a few centimetres making it impossible for the protectee (Rahul) to meet and greet party workers while in the car. Further long car journeys in a suffocating vehicle with less than recommended or acceptable levels of oxygen itself are a health hazard for the protectee,” it said.

However, a home ministry official refuted the claims, saying Rahul is provided with Tata Safari armoured vehicle, which is also used by top ministers like home minister Rajnath Singh and finance minister Arun Jaitley. The Tata Safari armoured vehicle is also used by many Z-plus category protectee and is considered to be safe and comfortable, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Earlier, the home minister said in Parliament that in the past two years, Rahul had carried out 121 planned and unplanned tours and he did not use the bullet proof car on 100 occasions. Singh also said Rahul went on foreign tours and informed the SPG at the eleventh hour, creating problems for it to provide proper security.

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  1. R
    Raj
    Aug 9, 2017 at 6:36 am
    Let the SPG give the requirements and let political parties custom make them from their party funds. If afraid of life, let them choose from options: leave politics or pay for all expenses of safe-guard from party funds unless they are holding ministerial office. Who cares for MLAs and MPs - they are dime a dozen. Why spend tax payers hard earned money.
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    1. P
      p g
      Aug 9, 2017 at 5:58 am
      Foolish govt. Why are they providing these armoured vehicles to this anti-national. From whom is he in danger ???? No one. Foolish thinking of the security dept.This is why he is frequently rolling up his sleeves at everyone.
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      1. V
        V. Setty
        Aug 9, 2017 at 5:22 am
        How about a Rolls Royce or Bentley or whatever he chooses... he is still in the age of en lement... being son of so and so, and being g son of so and so, ... wonderful.
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        1. Ml Pandit
          Aug 9, 2017 at 12:54 am
          Ask tax payers, how much would they prefer contribute to secure VVIP politicians?
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          1. R
            r
            Aug 9, 2017 at 12:41 am
            It is not too difficult to provide rear AC controls and to include a cabin Hepa air filter. Many ordinary cars worldwide come with this. While the cars provided by the ministry me be same model it is very much possible that the features are different in them. Remember Rajiv Gandhi died because of laspes in his security even though the issue of reduced security was raised then but brushed aside by an arrogant govt. Know the cheap gunda tactics of BJP it is very much possible that the govt deliberately provides cars which cause discomfort thus making the protected use unsafe cars and if any incidents happen they can blame the victims. Remember now they have moved from saying that the stone throwers were not BJP members to indicating they were disgruntled Congress men. now when those miscreants were identified as BJP leaders by police they are blaming the victim. They should be telling us what action they are taking against the terrorist stone throwers.
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