PM’s ‘security breach’: BJP wanted Punjab govt to kill protestors, claims Assam Cong
Guwahati, Jan. 6 (PTI): A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s convoy got stranded due to a blockade in Punjab, the Congress’ Assam unit on Thursday alleged that the BJP wanted the state government there to kill the protesting farmers, as five anti-CAA protestors were done to death by the saffron party administration in the North-eastern state in 2019.
Punjab, where the assembly election is due this year, is ruled by the Congress.
The grand old party also claimed that public attendance at the PM’s rally on Wednesday was extremely low, which led the BJP and Modi to find the excuse of security breach’ as the reason for his failure to attend it.
Just like the manner in which the BJP government here (Assam) had reined in the anti-CAA agitation by killing five people, they wanted our Congress government in Punjab to kill the protestors. But that is not in the Congress culture to use violence on citizens,” Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Bhupen Kumar Borah told a press conference.
Five anti-CAA protestors were killed, at least three of them in police firing, in December 2019 in Assam.
It is clear the BJP wanted to save itself from embarrassment at the rally and hence, cancelled the PM’s trip, Borah said.
The BJP had arranged for 70,000 people at the rally in Punjab, but by the time the PM reached Bhatinda airport only about 5,000 people had assembled at the venue, he claimed.
This made them look for an excuse to cancel the rally and then, it was suddenly decided that PM will proceed by road. As there was no prior information of Modi using that route, some farmers were staging a protest and once they learnt that he was coming, they blocked it, he said.
Modi, who landed in Bathinda and had to take the road route to Hussainiwala in Ferozepur because of inclement weather on Wednesday, was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes due to a blockade by some farmers, an incident the Union Home Ministry described as a “major lapse” in his security.
The Punjab government wanted 15 minutes to clear the road peacefully, but using security breach as an excuse, the PM decided to return, Borah said.
Congress Lok Sabha MP Pradyut Bordoloi, who was also present at the press meet, claimed that people refrained from attending the PM’s rally and the BJP used the “security breach” as a face-saver for itself.
He asserted that the Punjab government had not compromised the PM’s security in any manner.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has denied any security lapse or political motive behind it and said his government is ready for an inquiry.
There was a sudden change in the PM’s travel plan from Bathinda to Ferozepur and everything was handled by central agencies, he told reporters at Chandigarh on Wednesday.