SECURITY BREACH IN PUNJAB LEAVES PM STRANDED FOR 20 MINUTES - The Daily Guardian
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SECURITY BREACH IN PUNJAB LEAVES PM STRANDED FOR 20 MINUTES

BJP president J.P. Nadda accuses Punjab Chief Minister of not taking phone calls to sort out the matter.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab’s Ferozepur was on Wednesday was put off because of a “major security lapse”. The PM was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes due to the road being blocked by some protesters, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a statement. The MHA has taken cognisance of this serious security lapse and has sought a detailed report from the Punjab government. The incident has triggered a clash between the Centre and the Congress-ruled state just before the Assembly elections. PM Modi was scheduled to visit Ferozepur on Wednesday to lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 42,750 crore. BKU Krantikari took responsibility for stalling PM Modi’s cavalcade.

Prime Minister Modi, who had to return to Bathinda airport due to the security breach, is learnt to have told state government officials at the airport, “Apne CM ko thanks kehna, ki mein Bhatinda airport tak zinda laut paaya (Say thanks to your CM that I was able to return to Bhatinda airport alive)”.

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi had refused to receive the Prime Minister at the airport, saying that he had been “in close contact with some who tested Covid positive”. And yet, after the news of PM Modi’s cavalcade security breach emerged in the media, CM Channi called a “physical” press conference in the evening. “I express regret that PM Modi had to return during his visit to Ferozepur district today due to obstacles on route. We respect our PM,” he said at the press conference. Trying to explain why he did not receive the Prime Minister at Bathinda, the Punjab CM said, “I had to receive the Prime Minister at Bathinda today, but those who had to accompany me tested Covid positive. Hence, I did not go to receive the PM today as I had been in close contact with some who tested positive.” Channi said that they had requested the Prime Minister’s Office to cancel his visit due to bad weather conditions and protests by farmers. He also claimed that tight security arrangements were made, but the PM decided to take a detour to Hussainiwala which wasn’t part of his initial route.

“We had asked them (PMO) to discontinue the visit due to bad weather conditions and protests. We had no information of his (Prime Minister Modi’s) sudden route change. There was no security lapse during the PM’s visit. If there were any security lapses, then we will conduct an inquiry. There was no danger to the Prime Minister,” Channi added.

However, according to the MHA statement, the PM had landed at Bathinda this morning from where he was to go to National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter. Due to rain and poor visibility, the PM waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear. Observing no improvement in the weather conditions, the decision to visit the memorial via road was taken after which PM Modi proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police.

“Around 30 km away from National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when the PM’s convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protestors. The PM was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major lapse in the security of PM,” said the statement by the MHA. “The PM’s schedule and travel plan was communicated well in advance to the Punjab government. As per procedure, they have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready. Also in view of the contingency plan, Punjab Government has to deploy additional security to secure any movement by road, which were clearly not deployed,” further said the statement.

The Prime Minister headed back to Bathinda airport after the security lapse. “The Ministry of Home Affairs taking cognisance of this serious security lapse has sought a detailed report from the state government. The State Government has also been asked to fix responsibility for this lapse and take strict action,” the statement said. Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya also announced from the stage at Ferozepur that PM Modi cancelled his scheduled visit to Ferozepur to address a rally “due to some reasons”.

BJP chief J.P. Nadda hit out at Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi in a series of tweets and accused him of refusing to take phone calls. “CM Channi refused to get on the phone to either address the matter or solve it,” Nadda tweeted. Nadda alleged that the protesters in the poll-bound state were given access to the Prime Minister’s route while the Punjab Chief Secretary and DGP gave assurances to SPG that the route was clear.

Hours after the security lapse, Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala on Wednesday slammed BJP president Nadda and asked him to introspect on “BJP’s anti-farmer attitude”. The Congress leader said that the reason for canceling the rally is that there were no crowds to listen to PM Modi. Taking to Twitter, Surjewala said to Nadda, “Dear Naddaji, Stop losing cool and all sense of propriety. Please remember–1. 10,000 security personnel were deployed for PM’s Rally. 2. All arrangements were made in tandem with SPG and other agencies. 3. Route was carved even for all buses of BJP workers from Haryana/Rajasthan; 4. PM decided to take a road journey to Hussainiwala. It was not part of his original schedule to travel by road. 5. Kisan mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) has been protesting against PM’s visit and Union Minister, Gajendra Shekhawat has held two rounds of negotiation with them.”

Punjab minister Rajkumar Verka said: “The accusations of a security breach are baseless. The truth is that BJP’s rally was a flop show. When the PM got to know this, he decided to return.”

However, BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh on Wednesday blasted the Congress-led government in Punjab for the major security lapse and said that both Punjab CM Channi and the state’s Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu are acting on the instructions of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Chugh accused Channi and Sidhu of joining hands with subversive and anti-national forces to foil the democratic right of the Prime Minister and the BJP to address public meetings. Chugh further held Channi and Sidhu responsible for causing security threats to the Prime Minister. “Channi and Sidhu are dancing to the tunes of Pakistan ISI. Time has come for Punjab to wake up to nefarious designs of the two,” said Chugh. He further said, “It is a matter of shame for the State government for not allowing the Prime Minister to address the public meeting.” “It was the responsibility of the Congress Government to ensure law and order for the PM’s visit but entire Punjab is hanging its head in shame today,” he added.

While commenting on the security breach, Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday said that this showed that there was a complete collapse of law and order in Punjab and Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi was incompetent to run the state. Taking to Twitter, Badal said, “There is a complete collapse of law and order in Punjab. We have been saying this for long. The CM is incompetent to run the state.”

(WITH AGENCY INPUTS)

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Telangana CM KCR slams BJP; advises people not to fall prey to BJP’s policies

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Earlier on Tuesday KCR inaugurated the District Collectorate office in Vikarabad.

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Veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher on Tuesday condemned the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit by a terrorist in the Kashmir Valley.

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The movies Maine Pyar Kiya, Baazigar, Bombay to Goa, and Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya are some of movies featuring Raju. He also made an appearance in Bigg Boss’ third season. He gained notoriety for his superb comic timing after his appearance as a stand-up comedian on the programme The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. He is the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Council’s chairman.

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