Chandigarh | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Ferozepur visit in poll-bound Punjab on Wednesday was postponed due to a "major security breach". After his visit was postponed, PM Modi before leaving the Bhatinda Airport told officials to "thank Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi that he was able to return to there alive".
"Apne CM ko thanks kehna, ki mein Bhatinda airport tak zinda laut paaya (Tell thank you to your CM that I was able to return to Bhatinda Airport alive)," PM Modi told the officials, as reported by news agency ANI.
PM Modi was supposed to lay the foundation stone for multiple projects in Punjab's Ferozepur on Wednesday. Initially, he was supposed to travel by a helicopter but the idea was later dropped due to "rains and poor visibility".
Later, the Prime Minister's convoy decided to travel by road but was stuck on a flyover for 15 to 20 minutes due to a blockade by some protesters, an incident which the Union Home Ministry described as a "major security lapse".
In a statement, the Home Ministry sought a detailed report from the Punjab government and asked it to "fix responsibility" for the lapse and take "strict action". "As per procedure, the Home Ministry said, they have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready," the statement read.
"Also in view of the contingency plan, the Punjab Government has to deploy additional security to secure any movement by road, which were clearly not deployed. After this security lapse, it was decided to head back to Bathinda Airport."
BJP slams Punjab govt
The Bharaitya Janata Party (BJP), meanwhile, has slammed the Punjab government for the security lapse. In a series of Tweets, party chief JP Nadda accused the Congress government of trying "all possible tricks to scuttle" PM Modi's rally.
Hitting out at the state government after PM Modi's rally was called off and another programme disrupted as protesters blocked his route breaching the security protocol, Nadda said what is extremely worrisome is that the incident was also a big security lapse.
"Protestors were given access to the Prime Minister's route while the Punjab CS (chief secretary) and DGP gave assurances to SPG that the route is clear. To make matters worse, CM Channi refused to get on the phone to either address the matter or solve it. The tactics used by the Congress government in Punjab would pain anyone who believes in democratic principles," he said.
Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma also blamed the Congress government for the security lapse. He alleged that the Punjab Police was instructed to prevent people from attending the rally.
He said a large number of buses and other vehicles carrying BJP workers and other people were stranded. He claimed that the police connived with protesters blocking the movement of those headed for the rally.
"The government which cannot ensure law and order has no right to rule and does not deserve to be given a second chance," he said, as reported by news agency PTI. "The PM was coming here to give something to Punjab. But the state government failed to provide security. This government must go."
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma