scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Wednesday, January 26, 2022

PM Modi security breach: Amid Congress counter, calls in party to rise above politics

A dominant section in the party still believes the PM cannot be allowed to create and dominate the narrative and he has to be countered aggressively at every step.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi |
Updated: January 8, 2022 8:32:45 am
pm modi security breach punjabSenior Congress leader Harish Rawat said the Prime Minister’s security is a collective responsibility of central agencies like SPG and the state police. (PTI Photo)

While the Congress and Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi continue to argue that there was no security breach involving Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cavalcade on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway earlier this week, a section of the leaders believe the party should have taken a “more nuanced stand” rather than joining a political war of words with the BJP on such a sensitive issue.

While these leaders feel the PM, Centre and the BJP did blow “the issue out of proportion”, they believe there was an element of “casualness” on the part of the Punjab government too, which cannot be “overlooked”. In that context, they argue that the party should have adopted a “far more mature approach”.

Clearly there are two strands of opinion on the issue in the Congress.

A dominant section in the party still believes the PM cannot be allowed to create and dominate the narrative and he has to be countered aggressively at every step.

Sources said Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s direction to the Chief Minister to set up a probe even while letting the party counter the BJP aggressively, painting the ruling party’s fusillade as an attack on “Punjab and Punjabiyat”, perhaps was part of this calibrated approach.

Neither Sonia nor former Congress president Rahul Gandhi has spoken on the issue so far.

“Any other PM would be focused on serious national security lapses in Pangong Tso and Arunachal Pradesh. But for the first time in 70 years, a Prime Minister is worried about the security threat from his own party workers?” tweeted Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.

His party colleague and spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, on the other hand, told The Indian Express that “all the three principal stakeholders – PMO, Centre and state government – must rise above politics to genuinely solve omissions and lacunae if any, which may lie at all quarters”.

Congress MP from Punjab Manish Tewari, who had demanded a probe by a sitting High Court judge arguing that what had happened in Ferozepur was “unfortunate”, said, “If there has been a security breach in terms of what was ostensibly articulated by the Prime Minister when he returned to the Bathinda airport or what is being said by the Ministry of Home Affairs officially then it warrants an independent probe.”

“Now that Supreme Court is seized of the matter we will have to wait and see what the court decides,” he said. While the Congress insists that there was no security breach, Tewari said “now that the courts will determine”.

One leader, who did not want to be identified, said it was a fact that the state police had been “casual” and “there was no less lapse on the part of the Centre or the Home Ministry”. The leader said the party’s argument that the Prime Minister returned because there was thin attendance at the rally “set us on the wrong foot”.

Senior Congress leader Harish Rawat said the Prime Minister’s security is a collective responsibility of central agencies like SPG and the state police. “When there was a change in the PM’s programme and when he decided to take the road, the route should have been sanitised.

And in view of the situation arising out of the farmers’ protest and the warning that they had given… it should have been reconfirmed that there is no possibility of someone blocking the road. That did not happen,” he said.

At the same time, he argued that had the PM’s cavalcade waited for half an hour more such a situation could have been averted.

Tewari said when the Prime Minister or any high dignitary is travelling in a border area, the levels of security have to be greater.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement