In Punjab, Prime Minister Narendra Modi got stuck on a flyover for 15 to 20 minutes on Wednesday when the farmer protesters blocked the road while going by road. The Union Home Ministry has termed the incident a “serious lapse” in the security of the Prime Minister. The Home Ministry said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s convoy decided to return after a serious security breach during his visit to Punjab.
Why PM Modi had to travel by the road?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Bathinda this morning, from where he was to go by helicopter to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala. Due to rain and poor visibility, the PM waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear. When the weather did not improve, it was decided that he would visit the National Meritorious Memorial by road, which would take more than 2 hours.
After confirmation of the necessary security arrangements by the DGP of Punjab, he travelled by road. Some protesters blocked the road when the PM’s convoy reached a flyover, about 30 km from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala. The PM was stuck on the flyover for 15-20 minutes. It is being termed as a big lapse in PM’s security.
The Punjab Government was informed
The Punjab Government had already been informed about the Prime Minister’s program and travel plans claimed the Center. As per the procedure, the Punjab Government had to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security, and keeping contingency plans ready. Also, given the contingency plan, the Punjab government had to deploy additional security to secure any movement by road, which the Central Government claims were ‘clearly lacking’.
Ferozepur rally had to be cancelled
Later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election rally in Ferozepur also had to be cancelled. PM Modi was also to dole out several development projects worth Rs 42,750 crore as pre-election promises, apart from the election campaign. These included the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, the PGI Satellite Center at Ferozepur and two new medical colleges at Kapurthala-Hoshiarpur.
Addressing the near-empty Ferozepur public meeting on Wednesday, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally has been postponed due to some reasons. However, he will soon address an election rally in Ferozepur, claimed Mandaviya.
When Narendra Modi returned to Bathinda airport after the rally’s cancellation, he also took a jibe at the Congress government of Punjab. According to news agency ANI, Modi told the airport officials – I thank my Chief Minister that I could reach Bathinda airport alive.
The visuals from the venue show that there were hardly any people for the election rally. The farmers had blocked the BJP supporters from reaching the grounds.
Union Home Ministry’s statement
The Union Home Ministry has termed the incident a “serious lapse” in the security of the Prime Minister. The statement also said that the ministry had asked the Punjab government to fix accountability for this lapse and take strict action.
BJP’s blame game
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President JP Nadda attacked the Congress-led Charanjit Singh Channi government in Punjab. JP Nadda had alleged that the CM of the state did not even pick up the phone when the PM’s convoy was stuck.
JP Nadda tweeted, ‘Punjab CM Channi refused to talk on the phone or resolve the matter. The tactics used by the Punjab government will hurt and harass anyone who believes in democratic principles.”
In another tweet, JP Nadda said, “Protesters were allowed to go in PM’s way, and their security was compromised while Punjab Chief Secretary and DGP assured SPG that the path is completely clear.”
CM Channi hits back
PM Modi suddenly changed the program; the rally could not be held due to lack of crowd, said CM Charanjit Channi.
CM Charanjit Channi said that till 3 pm, he had all the roads cleared. The Prime Minister had to come by air. Then he had to go to Firozpur by air. He had no plans to go by the road. He suddenly came to Bathinda and changed the program to go by road. All this happened without any prior planning. “There was no security negligence of any kind.” Channi mocked PM Modi by saying that PM Modi planned to hold a big rally in Ferozepur, where 70 thousand chairs were laid, but not even 700 came. It also rained from above. Because of this, his rally could not be successful.
Farmers said- program cancelled due to protest
Kisan Ekta Morcha said representatives said, “We want to make it clear that the reason for cancellation of Modi’s rally is the fierce protest from farmers and people of Punjab, who have rejected Modi. Because of this, Modi had to cancel his program. Very few people were present in Modi’s rally too. Most of them were forcibly sent to the rally. Due to the negative response from Punjabis, Modi had to cancel his program.”
Why are Famers protesting against PM Modi?
PM Modi has beaten a hasty retreat over the issue of muzzled Farm laws but has not yet fully met all the conditions of the farmers. There is a wave of widespread anger over the death of 700 farmers during the year-long protests.
To make matters worse, Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik revealed during an event, “When I went to meet the Prime Minister to discuss the farmers’ issue, I ended up fighting with him within five minutes. He was very arrogant. When I told him that 500 farmers had died, he said, ‘Did they die for me?’ I told him yes.”
The Governor also said that Home Minister Amit Shah told him that the PM had ‘lost his mind.’ The Governor later retracted this.