Defending the Union Home Ministry’s decision to downgrade the security cover of Sonia Gandhi and her family, Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday said that there is no threat for Sonia and family as the terrorist organisation Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is no more and they have taken a soft approach to Rajiv Gandhi’s killers. Provoking Congress MPs in the Rajya Sabha, Swamy justified the withdrawal of Special Protection Group (SPG) security as all Indians are equal before the law and no one can enjoy privileges.
“Threat perceptions have always been the judgment of the Home Ministry… There has always been a special committee in the Home Ministry that decides (these things). If there are any questions about it, one can go to court and challenge it,” he said. Provoking Congress MPs further, Swamy said that the threat originally arose out of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and from the LTTE and reminding them about Sonia Gandhi’s letter to the President of India for reducing the death sentence to one of the accused Nalini and of Priyanka later visiting the accused in jail.
“That issue (threat from LTTE) has disappeared because of two reasons. First there is no LTTE and second the attitude of protectees (Sonia family) towards those who have given the death penalty for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by the Supreme Court, he said responding to Congress leader Anand Sharma who raised the issue of withdrawal of SPG protection. The video of Swamy’s response can be accessed here:
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said that he too was not in favour of a reduction in punishment.
BJP working president J P Nadda said no politics should be seen in the move to replace their security cover. He said the Home Ministry has a “set pattern” and “protocol” in assessing threat perceptions to leaders.
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