Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Kiran Rijiju said that he would convey concerns raised by his party members about the state government with the BJP central leadership. He also conveyed to the SAD that their alliance with the BJP in the state on the ground should be maintained in letter and spirit.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary Navjot Kaur Sidhu of the BJP had earlier complained that the government was not allocating funds for development works in her constituency – Amritsar (East). She once sat on hunger strike and only party colleague and state cabinet minister Anil Joshi arrived to placate her. Despite this, the state and central leadership of BJP had yet not taken the issue with their alliance partner.
“We have a very good understanding with the Shiromani Akali Dal in Delhi. We are a big party on a national level and we try to keep all small parties in NDA with us. We expect similar treatment at state level from these parties and there must be practical alliance on ground,” said Rijiju during a press conference, which concluded his two-day visit to Amritsar.
On the resentment within the BJP against the SAD, he said, “I cannot announce party decisions here. What I can say right now is that if our senior leaders have said something and raised some issues then there must be reasons behind that. We also request our alliance partner SAD that as we are partners in state and if some such voices of BJP leaders are not reaching them then they should make attempt to listen these grievances. Because, letter and spirit of alliance should also be visible on ground. It would good for both BJP and SAD and for people of Punjab too.”
“We cannot snub theesentiments of our local BJP leadership. Definitely, I will convey these feelings to the party. But I should not announce anything here,” said Rijiju.
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On cross-border drug smuggling, the MoS said the Border Security Force (BSF) cannot be blamed alone for the menace. He said this would not have been possible without the help of local elements. Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal had earlier called for a stronger BSF patrolling in the border areas after the Pathankot attack.
“By and large state and centre work together on issues of national security. We have a format of multi-agencies centres where state and central agencies coordinate on ground,” said Rijiju. “We have recognised issues, we have been working on it.”