There has been a hue and cry over the security aspect of Narendra Modi and several questions have been raised as to why he is not provided the same sort of security which a Prime Minister or a Sonia Gandhi are provided.
C D Sahay former Research and Analysis Wing chief says that the SPG act came into force following the assassination of Indira Gandhi. When it was packaged, I remember clearly that it had become a family specific thing. In short the SPG was created for a particular family only. Although there were no other leaders at that time who faced the same kind of threat at that time, it is unfortunate that over the years it was never reviewed and continued to remain position and not person specific. This continued and the likes of Deve Gowda, I K Gujral, Chandrashekhar and their families also availed the benefit of such security, Sahay says.
Speaking to other experts on the subject it is evident that the SPG act is not too fair. Sushil Kumar Shinde, the Home Minister had said after the Patna blasts that Modi does not need SPG cover.
The SPG act states that it shall cover shall Prime Ministers, former Prime Ministers and their near family members. The act further states that in the case of SPG cover given to family members, the same shall cease to exist after the completion of 10 years. However there was an order that was passed two years back in which the SPG cover for Sonia Gandhi and her family was extended by another five years. This meant that her family members including Robert Vadra benefited from the same. The act does provide an extension, but it states that the same shall only be for a year.
The experts say that these have been political issues unfortunately and an amendment to the act is the need of the hour. The act should not restrict itself to position specific but should also include person specific if the threat perception is extremely high.