Exhibiting the same humility and down to earth attitude as the late, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, his adopted family has written to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), expressing their desire to vacate the bungalow that was allocated for the former Primer.
The family has also requested the government to revoke security cover that is provided to them. SPG Act allows a former PM and his/her immediate family to retain SPG cover for a year and thereafter based on a threat assessment to be taken at a gap of not more than 12 months.
It is by virtue of this provision that Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi have had SPG protection since the Act was amended in the wake of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination to cover former PMs and their immediate family.
The letter was written by Vajpayee’s adopted daughter, Namita Bhattacharya. Namita is learnt to have said in her letter to the PMO that SPG cover was intrusive and the security protocol ended up causing inconvenience to the public.
Vajpayee’s foster family, which comprises Namita, her husband Ranjan Bhattacharya and their daughter Niharika, stayed with him during his days as prime minister and after he demitted office in 2004. The foster family lived with Vajpayee at 6-A, Krishna Menon Marg as his health failed over the years.