Amid reports about the addition of a Mercedes Maybach to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security detail, official sources said on Wednesday that the SPG security detail has a six-year norm to replace vehicles used for the protectee, and the previous cars had been used for eight years under Modi, leading to an audit objection and comment that it was compromising the life of the protectee.
Government sources said the new car was not an upgrade but a routine replacement, as BMW has stopped making the model used for the Prime Minister earlier. Cars manufactured by BMW are among those used by the Prime Minister over the years.
“The decisions relating to security detail purchases are based on the threat perception to the protectee. These decisions are taken independently by the SPG without taking views of the protectee, a source said.
“The widespread discussion on the security features of the protectee’s car is not in national interest as it puts in public domain a lot of unnecessary detail. This only threatens the life of the protectee,” the source added.
Also, the source said, “The cars cost much less than the media speculation, in fact it is about one-third of the price quoted in the media.”
It was reported that the new vehicle could cost over Rs 12 crore.
Officials said that Prime Minister Modi has not given any preference on which cars to use, and noted in this context that Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the past used Range Rovers which were actually procured for the then Prime Minister.