Rajnath Singh, Congress trade barbs over attack on Rahul Gandhi’s convoy
New Delhi: A week after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s convoy was attacked with stones in Gujarat, home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday slammed him, saying he had violated security protocol.
Gandhi’s convoy was stoned during a visit to flood-affected Banaskantha district of Gujarat last week. Bringing up the issue in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge blamed the government for “neglecting Rahul Gandhi’s security.”
The Congress party leaders also raised slogans in Parliament saying Gandhi could have been killed in the incident of stone-pelting.
Rajnath Singh, however, hit out at Kharge and Rahul Gandhi stating that Gandhi’s recent movements were in clear violation of security measures designated for the leader.
“This is not only a violation of SPG (Special Protection Group) Act but being negligent to safety issues as well,” Singh said in Lok Sabha.
Singh said that with Gandhi being under SPG protection, the Advance Security Liaising (ASL) had been carried out before his visit.
“Two bullet resistant (BR) cars were provided for Rahul Gandhi at Dhanera (in Banaskantha) but he sat in a non-BR car while travelling. There was heavy presence of security personnel at Dhanera and security arrangements are made as a part of a set drill which follows standard operating procedures. Even in his earlier visit to Gujarat on July 21, he preferred to use a non-BR car in disregard of advice given by the SPG to use BR Car,” Rajnath Singh said.
Singh also raised questions on Gandhi’s foreign visits without any security. The home minister said Gandhi had undertaken 121 domestic tours over the last two years, and that he breached security protocol on 100 occasions by not using a BR car.
“In the last two years, Rahul Gandhi has been out on six foreign visits for 72 days. He has not kept the SPG cover with himself in these 72 days. We want to know why didn’t he take SPG cover on several foreign trips? What is he trying to hide? Going abroad without taking SPG cover is not only a violation of the SPG Act, but also negligence towards one’s own security,” Singh added.