Following Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s claims stating that the party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi could have been killed in the recent attack on him, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today hit out at the Opposition leader accusing Rahul Gandhi of not following security protocol. Speaking in the Lok Sabha, during Question Hour, the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader stated that while Gandhhi had travelled abroad on six occasions for 72 days in the past two years without SPG security even after being a protectee.
As reported by The Indian Express, Rajnath was quoted saying, “In the last two years, Rahul Gandhi was out for 72 days on 6 foreign tours, but didn’t take SPG cover. We want to know where did he go? Why didn’t he take SPG cover. We want to know what is Rahul Gandhi trying to hide by not taking SPG along on foreign tours when he is a SPG protectee.”
Stating that SPG protectee gets security cover under Act of Parliament in reflection to the will and wisdom of the House to provide security, the saffron party leader said that Gandhi, moving without SPG cover, has violated the SPG Act and has also displayed negligence towards his own security. The Indian Express quoted Rajnath saying, “Rahul Gandhi undertook 121 tours in the last 2 years, out of which there were 100 security protocol violations of not using Bulletin Resistance Car.”
During his visit to the flood-affected like Dhanera and Kankrej in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district, the Congress VP was hurled stone at. While the Congress leaders created uproar blaming BJP for the incident, the saffron party termed the whole incident as a ‘political stunt’ to impress voters before the upcoming assembly elections in the state.
Further ridiculing claims on the lack of security for Gandhi, Rajnath said, “adequate measures were taken by the State police ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Banaskantha. Rahul did not listen to the area police or SPG officials but only his personal secretary and did not travel with the car provided by the police.”
Earlier in the day, Kharge drew comparrision between the stone pelting at Rahul Gandhi and stone-pelting incidents in Kashmir. Indian Express quoted Kharge saying, “Sadan mein BJP ke neta & sarkar ke taraf se ek waktavya aaya tha ki J&K mein jo pathhravbaazi ho rha hai wo terrorist kar rhe hain. Gujarat mein kaunse terrorist aaye, kya J&K se aaye, kya BJP ke karyakarta terrorist ban ke inki (R Gandhi) jaan lena chaahte thay.” (The government and BJP members said terrorists indulged in stone pelting in Jammu and Kashmir. Which terrorists had come in Gujarat? Were they from Jammu and Kashmir or did BJP workers come as terrorists to attack Rahul Gandhi).”
By Priyam Mukhopadhyay