Government calls Rahul’s charge on SPG ‘baseless’

New Delhi: The government on Monday dismissed as baseless” Congress President Rahul Gandhi charge that former Special Protection Group (SPG) chief Vivek Srivastava had to quit his job because he refused to accept a list of SPG officers handpicked by the RSS.

“The matter has been verified. The officer in question, Vivek Srivastava, former Director SPG, has specifically averred that he did not have any such conversation with Rahul Gandhi at any point of time,” said a statement from the Home Ministry.

“The officer has stated that as part of his professional duties, he interacted with SPG protectees; however, he has categorically stated that during his interaction with Gandhi, there was no talk whatsoever regarding the appointment of a new Director or the reasons for his leaving SPG,” said a statement from the Ministry.

It said: “SPG is a professional organisation which takes its task of protecting serving Prime Ministers, former Prime Ministers and their families entrusted to its security very seriously and in the highest professional spirit. The comment reportedly made by Gandhi through the media is baseless, devoid of fact and unfortunate, coming from an SPG protectee.”

The government’s clarification came after Gandhi on Saturday, while interacting with college and university teachers from nearly 20 states as part of the Congress’ outreach, said: “When Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, an officer was chosen from Gujarat to head SPG. He came to see me…

“Again he came and said I am leaving. I asked why? He said I have a list of people that RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) wants to be put in SPG. I refused, that’s why…”