Punjab is on the national headlines much ahead of the crucial assembly polls as tensions have been escalating between the BJP and Congress over the major security lapse endured by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday - January 5 when he visited the state for addressing an election rally. The incident of an unprecedented security breach has sparked outrage from the BJP and its affiliates who had blamed the Punjab ruling Congress for the breach while the Congress has been rebutting the charges from the Central ruling party.
Amid the growing stir between the rivals, the BJP supporters in Punjab had on Thursday made a Congress minister in Punjab chant 'Modi Zindabad'. The visuals from the scene were going viral on social media in which the supporters, who were protesting against the Congress government for the security lapse, were seen surrounding the vehicle of the Congress minister and forcing him to hail Modi. After he raised slogans in favour of Modi, the minister was let to leave the place.
According to reports, the BJP supporters had blocked the vehicle of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister OP Soni, who was en route to Amristar. The supporters were chanting 'Jai Shri Ram' and they had surrounded Soni's vehicle and forced him to chant 'Modi Zindabad'. Following the slugfest, Soni was seen getting out of the car and chanting 'Modi Zindabad'. After his chant, he was let go with his vehicle.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Modi was grounded on a flyover in Punjab after his cavalcade was stopped due to some protesters blocking the route. Modi had landed in Bathinda airport and when he was scheduled to take a chopper to attend the election rally in the Ferozepur district, the weather wasn't friendly due to which he had taken the road with two hours of journey. His motorcade was driving on a flyover during which it had stopped for 20 minutes.
As the sequel of the impasse, his tour was cancelled and he returned to Bathinda report. In a statement, Union Home Ministry has 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.
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 BJP leaders had staunchly blamed the Congress ruling Punjab government for the lapse and claimed that the Congress government is trying all possible tricks to scuttle PM's programmes in the state, fearing a resounding defeat in the upcoming assembly polls.
However, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi had denied any security lapse or political motive behind the incident and asserted that his government is ready for an inquiry. Channi has on Thursday said there was no threat to Modi's life and added that the Prime Minister had cancelled the campaign programme on Wednesday because of less number of people at the rally. It must be noted that earlier on Wednesday, Modi, after returning to Bathinda airport, has told the state government officials, "Say thanks to your Chief Minister that I could return alive till Bathinda airport."
After yesterday's incident, BJP workers today surrounded Deputy Chief Minister OP Soni on the road and chanted 'Jai Shri Ram', later OP Soni raised 'Modi Zindabad' slogan and then the protesters let him go. pic.twitter.com/HQXEx4sJ09— Gagandeep Singh (@Gagan4344) January 6, 2022