Updated: January 8, 2022 5:06:27 am
Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu Friday said that there was no breach in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security diring Punjab visit and accused the Centre of playing “dirty politics” while alleging that BJP leaders were now trying to use the issue to reap political benefits in other poll-bound states and save themselves from humiliation.
“It is an attempt to save themselves from humiliation, because it must never have happened that a prime minister addressed 500 people when 70,000 chairs were arranged (for the BJP’s Ferozepur rally on Wednesday). They are exposed. Now political people in Punjab know that nobody should join them. It is clear that they have no support in this state,” said Sidhu.
The prime minister’s convoy was stranded on a flyover due to a blockade by protesters in Punjab’s Ferozepur on Wednesday, after which he returned from the poll-bound state without attending any event, including a rally. The Punjab government has maintained that there was no security lapse, but has ordered a probe into the incident.
He said to thrust the onus of Modi’s security entirely on the state police is not right as 10,000 people are involved in the prime minister’s security paraphernalia, including officials of the SPG, RAW, IB and other central agencies, and the state police takes instructions from them.
“If the Home Ministry is accusing Punjab of breach in security, how are they exonerating themselves of this? What were the central security agencies doing? What was the BSF doing that has been handed the jurisdiction of 50 km in the state? Central agencies’ 10,000 personnel are with the PM and they control the security. They direct the Punjab Police too. Why are they not answerable,” asked Sidhu while a press conference with the AICC spokesperson Alka Lamba.
Sidhu alleged that there was a “design” in Prime Minister taking the road route without informing the state government beforehand, “He knew that 70,000 chairs only had 500 people sitting on them. It would have been unprecedented for a PM to address vacant chairs. There was no plan that he would go by road. The plan was changed at the last minute. It is clear that he (PM) wanted to save himself of the humiliation that the empty chairs would have posed.” Sidhu also hit out at former chief minister Amarinder Singh, who has demanded the imposition of president’s rule in Punjab.
“BJP should stop playing politics. All those seeking President’s rule in Punjab, are your parrots like former chief minister Amarinder Singh who always parrots security? Has he raised any other issue of the state,” he asked.
Reminding Modi that he is the PM of the entire country and not only of those associated with the BJP, the state Congress chief said, “Everyone knows how precious your life is. But Punjab and Punjabiyat are being insulted when it is said that the PM has said (to thank Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi) that he returned alive. This is a big farce and I say this categorically.”.
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