Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to have cost cutting as his topmost personal priority. Home Minister Amit Shah in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday revealed PM Modi had brought an end to the practice of prime ministers staying in a hotel during technical halts in the course of foreign visits, saving a lot of money to the exchequer.
Revealing Modi's airport habits, Amit Shah said that Prime Minister opts to take rest at airport terminals even though he is entitled to staying in luxury five star hotels overnight. Besides, he has also started the practice of taking less than 20 per cent staff during his foreign visits, reported ANI.
"Earlier when prime ministers went abroad, a hotel was booked for an overnight stay during technical halts to get fuel. Narendra Modi has till today not booked a hotel during a technical halt. He stays at the airport, takes bath there and proceeds further after refuelling is done," Shah said.
"Similarly for the official delegation, he has discouraged using a large number of cars. Earlier officials were using separate cars.... now they use a bus or a large vehicle," he added.
Shah, who was replying to the debate on Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, said Modi has established tough norms for himself in his personal and public life and follows a disciplined regimen.
Responding to the debate on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Shah said, "For some, security cover has been a status symbol. For some, security has become a trivial issue where norms are violated at will. But, let's follow the example of Modi ji who adheres to the security norms and protocols."
Dismissing the charge of vindictiveness over removal of SPG cover for Gandhi family, Shah stated that such security cover reviews have happened in the past with respect to ex-prime ministers, including P.V. Narasimha Rao, I.K. Gujaral, Chandra Shekhar, H.D. Deve Gowda and Manmohan Singh, but there was no such opposition ever when SPG cover was withdrawn. The Home Minister said that the government was committed to secure each citizen of the country.
He further stated that the Modi government does not take security cover decision on the basis of vendetta politics, but on scientific threat analysis for a particular individual.
He further said the Gandhi family had gone on many trips without informing SPG. He mentioned that Rahul Gandhi had travelled 1,892 times in Delhi and 247 times abroad without informing the SPG after 2015.
"Members of the Gandhi family have travelled without informing the SPG 600 times," Shah added.
He said the security of three Congress leaders have not been withdrawn but changed to 'Z-plus' with the ambulance. He said that the security cover has in fact been increased for the Gandhi family.
He also said that security cover has been provided to members of all political parties based on individual case based threat analysis.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar