PM Modi’s SPG Now Has Nearly Rs 600 Crore Budget
NEW DELHI : The government has increased allocation for the Special Protection Group — tasked with protecting the Prime Minister — from Rs 540 crore to approximately Rs 600 crore. In last year’s budget, it was increased from Rs 420 crore to approximately Rs 540 crore.
Currently the Prime Minister is the only person protected by the 3000-strong Special Security Group. The security for three others — Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra — was revised in November last year and SPG protection was withdrawn. Sources in the government had pointed to the numerous security protocol violations by the Gandhi family. Rahul Gandhi, sources said, was violating “one security rule each day”.
SPG for former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was withdrawn in August. It was also withdrawn from two other former Prime Ministers HD Deve Gowda and VP Singh. The SPG was set up in 1985, a year after the assassination of Rahul Gandhi’s grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The force was tasked with protecting the prime ministers.
In 1991, after the assassination of Mr Gandhi’s father, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the SPG protection was extended to the entire family.
In 1999, the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee decided to review SPG’s operations, and withdrew protection from former Prime Ministers PV Narasimha Rao, HD Deve Gowda, and IK Gujral. In 2003, the Vajpayee government amended the law to bring down the minimum period of automatic protection from 10 years to one, keeping a provision that it could be revised yearly and extended depending on the threat level.
Last year, then SPG Act was revised again, under which only the prime minister – current and former – and their immediate families living with them – would get SPG protection for five years after leaving office.
Modi faces a bigger threat than any of his predecessors from terrorists according to intelligence agencies, senior home ministry officials told NEWSTRACK24x7.com, adding that the SPG personnel would provide security in the form of “ring round teams” at the prime minister’s residence and office, besides guarding the isolation cordons and the sterile zone during his appearances at public events and rostrum and access control to his dais and venues.