Security Breach During PM Modi's Punjab Visit: BJP, Congress Spar

BJP leaders accused the Congress-led Punjab state government of endangering Prime Minister Narendra Modi's life after he was stuck on a flyover for 20 minutes.

Bharatiya Janata Party leaders on Wednesday accused the Congress-led Punjab state government of endangering Prime Minister Narendra Modi's life after he was stuck on a flyover while on his way to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala.

In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that PM Modi was scheduled to fly to the memorial from Bathinda airport via helicopter. However, due to poor visibility caused by rains, Modi decided to go via road after "confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police."

"Around 30 kms away from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when the Prime Minister's convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protestors. The Prime Minister was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister," the MHA statement read.

Following this, Modi went back to Bathinda airport.

"The Prime Minister's schedule and travel plan was communicated well in advance to the Punjab Government. As per procedure, they have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready. Also in view of the contingency plan, the Punjab Government has to deploy additional security to secure any movement by road, which were clearly not deployed." the statement said.

The MHA has sought a detailed report from the state government and has instructed it to "fix responsibility for this lapse and take strict action".

BJP president JP Nadda, in a series of tweets, accused Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and the Congress of sabotage and being in league with protestors.

"Protestors were given access to the Prime Minister's route while the Punjab CS and DGP gave assurances to SPG that the route is clear. To make matters worse, CM Channi refused to get on the phone to either address the matter or solve it. The tactics used by the Congress government in Punjab would pain any one who believes in democratic principles. The state police was instructed to prevent people from attending the rally. Large number of buses were stranded because of the high-handedness of the police & connivance with protestors," Nadda tweeted.

Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala shot back at Nadda and the BJP stating that the PM was provided with adequate security arrangements and that the real reason for cancelling his planned rallies was the lack of crowds at the venue.

"10,000 security personnel were deployed for PM's Rally. All arrangements were made in tandem with SPG & other agencies. Route was carved even for all buses of BJP workers from Haryana/Rajasthan. PM decided to take a road journey to Hussainiwala. It was not part of his original schedule to travel by road. Finally, the reason for canceling rally is that there were no crowds to listen to Modiji," Surjewala tweeted.

The Kisan Ekta Morcha also claimed that Modi cancelled his rallies because of a lack of crowds.

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