Punjab’s former CM Amarinder Singh on Friday accused the top leadership of the state government and the ruling Congress of making reckless statements on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security breach and acting in confusion, instead of taking responsibility.
Singh targeted Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, Deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and state Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu, dubbing them all as “a confused lot”. “Channi, Randhawa and Sidhu are acting like a confused lot who have no idea about how to do their job and perform their duties,” Amarinder Singh said in a statement here.
He also advised Sidhu not to talk about issues that, he said, he does not know about. Referring to Channi's “confusing and contradictory” statements on the security breach, Amarinder Singh said, “In the morning he says something and orders an inquiry but by the evening he straightway denies that anything happened.” He also ridiculed Chief Minister Channi's “childish” statement that he “will take bullets in his chest if there was any threat to the life of the Prime Minister”. “You are not there to take bullets on your chest, better focus on your job as the chief minister,” Amarinder Singh counselled his successor.
The former CM also ridiculed Deputy CM Randhawa, the state Home Minister, for saying that central security agencies should have ensured the safe passage for the Prime Minister. “The deputy CM appears to be oblivious of the fact that the Prime Minister was very much in Punjab and it was the duty of the Punjab government to provide all sorts of security,” he pointed out.
“Recently you (Randhawa) were crying hoarse against the expansion of the BSF jurisdiction in Punjab’s border areas, saying, law and order is a state subject although it (the expansion of BSF’s jurisdiction) had nothing to do with the law and order,” Amarinder Singh reminded Randhawa. “But to escape responsibility, you are saying today that the same law and order was the responsibility of the central agencies,” he pointed out to him.
Amarinder Singh, who quit as Punjab CM amid Sidhu’s strong opposition to him, told the state Congress chief, “You better avoid talking on issues you have absolutely no idea about, like how the Prime Minister's security details are worked out.” "With everyone, particularly his own party and the government having stopped taking him seriously, Sidhu is now trying to wade into the waters he did not know even ABC of," claimed Amarinder Singh.
The former chief minister whose newly launched Punjab Lok Congress has forged a pre-poll alliance with the BJP has called for the imposition of the President Rule in the state after "serious lapses" in the Prime Minister's security during Punjab visit on Wednesday. Amarinder Singh also advised the Congress leaders "to listen to the wise counsel of their own party president Sonia Gandhi who has asked the Chief Minister to investigate the matter and fix the responsibility". “Now, I assume, you will say, even Ms Gandhi is trying to side with Prime Minister Modi,” he remarked.
In a "major security lapse", Prime Minister Modi's convoy was left stranded on a flyover in Ferozepur on Wednesday after some protesting farmers blocked the road forcing the PM to return from poll-bound Punjab without attending any event, including a rally. The Union Home Ministry has sought an immediate explanation from the state government on the PM’s security breach, saying it did not ensure the requisite deployment. Home Minister Amit Shah too has warned that such dereliction of the security procedure during the prime minister's visit is unacceptable and the accountability will be fixed.
With inputs from PTI.