The Congress appeared to be speaking in two voices over the cancellation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Punjab’s Ferozepur, a development that the Union Home ministry blamed on “a major security lapse” on part of the Punjab government. As a war of words ensued with Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi refuting the allegations against his government, it’s own senior leader from Punjab, Sunil Jakhar, said what happened was unacceptable in a democracy.
“What has happened today is just not acceptable. It’s against Panjabiyat. A secure passage for the Prime Minister of India to address BJP’s political rally in Ferozpur should have been ensured. That’s how democracy works,” said Jakhar on Twitter, hinting at failure on part of the Channi government.
PM Modi was scheduled to visit Punjab’s Ferozepur today where he was expected to lay the foundation stone of development projects worth over Rs 42,750 crore, including the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressway and a PGIMER satellite centre. However, he had to cancel his rally due to ‘security reasons’. Modi, who was travelling by road in Punjab, was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes due to a blockade by some protesters. The Union Home Ministry described the incident as a major lapse in PM Modi’s security. The ministry also sought a report from the Punjab government.
While the BJP leaders were quick to blame the Congress government for scuttling the PM’s rally, Chief Minister Channi refused to accept that there was any security lapse. He claimed that PM Modi’s plan to travel by road was made at the last minute and only 700 people turned up to attend his rally while 70000 chairs were put up at the site. Many Congress leaders claimed that PM Modi returned as the people of Punjab showed a mirror to the BJP.
Assembly Elections are due in Punjab this year and campaigning for the polls is underway in full swing.