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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Livid BJP on Punjab ‘security breach’: ‘We know Congress hates Modi, today they tried to harm PM’

Union Home Minister Amit Shah alleged that repeated poll defeats have led Congress to 'insanity'.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi |
Updated: January 5, 2022 10:10:35 pm
PM security breach, PM Modi Punjab protest, amit shah congress, smriti irani congress, Punjab news, indian exressUnion minister Smriti Irani addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Express photo: Prem Nath Pandey)

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cavalcade had to stop due to protesters in Punjab Wednesday, the BJP came down heavily on the Congress, seeking answers from the state government over the incident. The Prime Minister had to skip his rally in Ferozpur, where he was expected to lay the foundation stone for multiple development projects worth Rs 42, 750 crore.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah alleged that repeated poll defeats have led Congress to “insanity.” He tweeted: “Today’s Congress-made happening in Punjab is a trailer of how this party thinks and functions. Repeated rejections by the people have taken them to the path of insanity. The topmost echelons of the Congress owe an apology to the people of India for what they have done.”

Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters, Union minister Smriti Irani said, “The questions the nation asks the Congress are: Why did the Prime Minister’s security detail give a false clearance of the route he had to take? Why did the administration not respond when it was breached? Why did the Congress leadership erupt with joy when the Prime Minister had his security breached?”

Irani was referring to a tweet by Congress youth wing leader BV Srinivas, saying: “Modi ji, How’s the Josh?”

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has denied any security lapse, saying the PM’s plan to travel by road was made at the last minute. The Congress has alleged that the Prime Minister had to skip his rally because of poor attendance.

Before Irani was fielded to raise questions, the BJP leadership – party president to chief ministers to ministers – condemned the Congress “playing politics” in the poll-bound Punjab.

“The tactics used by the Congress government in Punjab would pain anyone who believes in democratic principles. The state police were instructed to prevent people from attending the rally. Large number of buses were stranded because of the high-handedness of the police & connivance with protestors,” BJP national president J P Nadda said in a tweet.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a report from the Punjab government over the “security breach”, asking how the PM’s cavalcade was stranded on a flyover for over 15 minutes when his programme had been duly communicated to the state police.

Irani, who addressed the news conference along with BJP MP and national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, alleged that the protesters were “planted” at the flyover.

“Planted political instruments today were given political patronage by the Congress govt to breach the security of Prime Minister. Never before in the history of this country had a state govt knowingly constructed a scenario where the PM is brought to harm. Police functionaries in a state were directed to breach the security of the PM and bring him to physical harm,” she charged.

“We know the Congress hates Modi. But today they tried to harm the Prime Minister of India. Such is the breakdown of law and order of Punjab that the DGP claims he is incapable of providing security support to the PM and to the Prime Minister’s security details. Such is the state of administration in Punjab that a security run, a protocol that is to be followed by the state was dismantled so that Modi could be brought to harm,” Irani said.

According to Irani, the DGP had promised there would be no blockade on the PM’s route.

Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, in charge of BJP’s electioneering in Punjab, alleged that the Punjab government had disregarded the federal structure. “The Congress government of Punjab conspired to stop the Prime Minister on the road. Deliberately hurting the dignity of the Prime Minister, insulting the most important post of the nation. This is an insult to the country. The federal structure of the country is disregarded. Internal security is compromised,” Shekhawat alleged.

BJP chief ministers joined the chorus in condemning the incident. “It’s a matter of shame that Adarniya PM Shri @narendramodi ji’s cavalcade was stopped by protesters on his way to visit the martyr’s memorial at Hussainiwala, Punjab. Compromising the security of PM is a matter of serious concern & must be enquired at the highest levels. While Adarniya PM is going all out to ensure holistic development of Punjab, today’s incident shows how Cong is least interested in development & only wants to play politics,” tweeted Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb condemned the “acts of Punjab govt which affect democratic principles and sends a wrong message”

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said, “Congress leaders had forgotten their responsibilities long ago and now Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, by not even picking up the phone, has insulted the federal system and gone against morality and dignity.”

BJP general secretary (organisation) BL Santosh went to the extent of linking the incident with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s vacation.  “The State President of @INCIndia tells smilingly in the morning that @RahulGandhi is on a secret mission & in the afternoon utterly irresponsible @CHARANJITCHANNI Govt in Punjab allows blockade of PMs convoy,” he posted on Twitter. Party general secretary CT Ravi tweeted, “Desh Ke Gaddaron Ko Goli Maro (Shoot the traitors).”

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