After returning back to where he started his tour in Punjab on Wednesday as the sequel of the unprecedented security lapse, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has slammed the Punjab Chief Minister in a fashion of thanking him that he returned alive. The major security breach triggered by a sudden disruption has drawn huge national attention and the incident had also sparked a political dispute between the BJP and the Congress party, which rules Punjab.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Wednesday landed at the Bathinda airport and he was scheduled to take part in a rally in Punjab's Ferozepur district during which he also had planned to unveil various projects and to lay down the foundation stone for the development works worth Rs 42,750 crore. Punjab will soon be hosting the assembly polls and after arriving at Bathinda, his itinerary was to board a chopper to reach Ferozepur. However, he waited for some time owing to poor wealth conditions.
As the weather remained unchanged, the plan of boarding the chopper was dropped and he had decided to reach the destination by road, which would take two hours. His convoy had left the airport and when it had reached a flyover in Hussainiwala, his motorcade had stuck on the flyover for 15 to 20 minutes after the road was blocked by some protesters. After the impasse, his tour was cancelled he had returned to Bathinda airport and he told the officials of the Punjab government at the airport to say thanks to their Chief Minister (Channi) that he had returned alive.
According to ANI, Modi told the officials in Hindi, "Say thanks to your Chief Minister that I could return alive till Bathinda airport." In an official statement, the Union Home Ministry said, "Around 30 kms away from National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when the PM's convoy has reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protesters. The PM was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major lapse in the security of PM." The Ministry has said that it is taking cognisance of this serious security lapse and a detailed report has been sought from the state government.
After the tour was cancelled, the Home Ministry further said that Prime Minister Modi had returned to the airport in Bathinda because of the lapse and it has blamed the Congress government for failing to prepare for the visit. At Ferozepur, where the Prime Minister was to address a rally, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has announced on the stage that Modi's visit was cancelled due to some reasons.
The Home Ministry added that the Prime Minister's convoy had proceeded on the journey only after confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the Director-General of Police, Punjab. It alleged that the Punjab Government didn't deploy additional security as a contingency plan to secure any movement by road. The government sources had blamed the Punjab police for covertly acting with the protesters to block the Prime Minister's convoy.
Speaking to a news agency, an official said, "Punjab Police knew the route of the Prime Minister. Such behaviour from the police has never been witnessed. This is the single biggest lapse in the security of any Indian Prime Minister in recent years." As Modi had faced a setback in his electoral campaign in Punjab ahead of the assembly polls, BJP National President JP Nadda has staunchly reacted to the security lapse and castigated Punjab Chief Minister Channi.
Nadda wrote on social media, "It is sad that the PM's visit to launch development projects worth thousands of crores for Punjab was disrupted. But we will not let such a cheap mentality hinder the progress of Punjab and will continue the effort for the development of Punjab. The state police were instructed to prevent people from attending the rally. A large number of buses were stranded because of the high-handedness of the police & connivance with protestors." In line with Nadda, several national BJP leaders had also flayed the Punjab government for its alleged complicity in the security lapse.