‘Everyday, for the last 28 years…’: Sonia Gandhi expresses gratitude to SPGhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/sonia-gandhi-spg-crpf-congress-rahul-gandhi-6111685/

‘Everyday, for the last 28 years…’: Sonia Gandhi expresses gratitude to SPG

The Centre had on Friday downgraded the security cover for Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra, based on the latest threat assessment by security agencies.

File photo of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. On Friday, the Centre downgraded the security cover of the Gandhi family. (File)

A day after Centre downgraded the security cover of the Gandhi family from Special Protection Group (SPG) to CRPF Z-plus, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, in a letter to the SPG director, expressed her appreciation for their efforts in protecting her family.

“On behalf of my whole family, I would like to express our deep appreciation and gratitude to the SPG for looking after our security and well being with such dedication, discretion and personal care,” Sonia Gandhi said.

The letter written by Sonia Gandhi to SPG.

On Friday, the Centre downgraded the security cover of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra, based on the latest threat assessment by security agencies.

The three were under SPG cover since the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. Two months ago, the government had similarly downgraded the security cover for Congress leader and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The latest decision was slammed by senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday, who called the step an “outrageous and mad decision”.

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In a tweet posted by his family on his behalf, Chidambaram said, “The Government’s decision to withdraw SPG protection for the Gandhis is an outrageous and mad decision. It is said ‘Those who the gods wish to destroy, they first make them mad’.”

Earlier former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had also expressed his gratitude towards the SPG men involved in his security detail. “A big thank you to all my brothers & sisters in the SPG who worked tirelessly to protect me & my family over the years. Thank you for your dedication, your constant support & for a journey filled with affection & learning. It has been a privilege. All the best for a great future, Rahul said in a tweet.

The SPG was started in 1985 in the wake of the killing of PM Indira Gandhi in 1984. When V P Singh came to power in 1989, his government withdrew SPG protection given to his predecessor Rajiv Gandhi. But after Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in 1991, the SPG Act was amended to offer protection to all former PMs and their families for at least 10 years.