Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday termed the security lapse of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of a rally in Punjab’s Ferozepur as an “absolute failure of the Punjab government” and said the imposition of Presidential Rule is needed to ensure law and order in the state.
“It is an absolute failure of the Punjab government,” Singh told News18 over the phone. Pointing that the incident took place “just a few kilometres from the Pakistan border,” he called for the Congress government to “be sacked.”
“CM Channi is responsible for this lapse as he is Chief Minister of the state,” he further alleged.
The former chief minister had formed his own party, Punjab Lok Congress, after quitting the ruling Congress in the state following his unceremonious exit as the CM last year. His party is in alliance with the BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal-Sanyukt for the next year’s Assembly polls.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was stuck on a flyover in Punjab for 15-20 minutes due to a blockade by some protesters and returned without attending an event at a martyrs’ memorial in Hussainiwala.
The Union Home Ministry has asked the Punjab government to fix responsibility for the serious lapse and has sought a detailed report. Around 30 kms away from the national martyrs memorial in Hussainiwala, when Modi’s convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protestors.
The home ministry said the prime minister’s schedule and travel plan was communicated well in advance to the Punjab government and as per procedure, they have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready.
Also, the home ministry said, in view of the contingency plan the Punjab government has to deploy additional security to secure any movement by road, which were clearly not deployed.
BJP president J P Nadda accused the Congress government in Punjab of trying “all possible tricks to scuttle” PM Modi’s programmes in the state.
“Protestors were given access to the Prime Minister’s route while the Punjab CS (chief secretary) and DGP gave assurances to SPG that the route is clear,” he said. “To make matters worse, Chief Minister Channi refused to get on the phone to either address the matter or solve it. The tactics used by the Congress government in Punjab would pain anyone who believes in democratic principles,” Nadda said in a tweet.
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