The Youth Congres’s Twitter handle @IYC today posted a tweet falsely alleging that the Modi government had withdrawn the SPG cover provided to the former PM Manmohan Singh while granting Z-category security to the chairman of Reliance Industries Limited conglomerate Mukesh Ambani.
The tweet by Congress handle was in response to the Modi government’s move to withdraw the Special Protection Group(SPG) from the security cover of the former PM Manmohan Singh and replace it with CRPF. The decision to remove SPG was taken after the Intelligence Bureau had given a security assessment report in Singh’s case. The IB director, Arvind Kumar, had met the former PM last week.
Singh continues to enjoy Z+ security. According to the government sources, the current security cover review is a periodical exercise based on threat perception that is purely based on a professional assessment by security agencies.
However, Congress was quick to politicise the issue claiming that the SPG removal was a ‘downgrading’ of Manmohan Singh’s security. Insinuating that the Modi government is for super-rich businessmen, Youth Congress asserted that the BJP government granted Z-category security to Mukesh Ambani while reducing the security cover of Manmohan Singh.
This is patently false as Mukesh Ambani was granted Z-category security not by the NDA government but by the UPA-2 government in 2013. The Supreme Court had held a dim view of the centre’s decision to upgrade Mukesh Ambani’s security cover and criticised the Congress government saying why such men are given security cover by the government while the common man continues to feel unsafe.
After the decision to provide commando security to Mukesh Ambani drew flak, the then Congress government had also clarified that Ambani himself would pay for the expenses. In 2013, Ambani was one of the 200 people in Mumbai who had been put under the top-level security cover.
It was a Congress government that had enlisted Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani to receive a Z-category security cover, a move that drew flak from the SC. However, in order to project that the Modi government is a purveyor of crony capitalism, Congress has tried to pass off a decision taken by their government as Modi’s government’s move.
The other facet of this controversy, which is lost on the Congress supporters and leaders protesting about the government’s move to strip Manmohan Singh of his SPG cover is that the threat perception to a particular leader is periodically reviewed professionally by security agencies. Moreover, the Z+ category security provided to Manmohan Singh continues to remain in place.