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BJP trying to pull down dalit CM: Kharge on Modi security lapse

"PM did not follow the tour programme shared with the Punjab government"


Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi getting stranded on his way to a public rally in in Punjab on January 5, was a “BJP ploy” to “defame” Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and his government.

“The PMO, the central government and the BJP spokespersons have been giving out false information to the media to defame the Punjab government, which is being led by a dalit chief minister. Dr Channi is a simple, softspoken and good-natured man. But the BJP is making concerted efforts to pull down his government. As it is, it is rare to find a dalit CM as only the rich and powerful make it to the top post. But for the first time, Rahul Gandhi had chosen Dr Channi, who has a PhD. But the BJP is trying to destabilise his government,” charged Kharge who addressed a press conference in Bengaluru on Thursday.

“Just because it is a Congress government and it is an election year, the BJP is playing politics of polarisation,” alleged Kharge.

Further Kharge blamed the central government for the security lapse saying the Centre controlled the SPG and also the IB and the entire incident was a result of the “poor turnout” at the public rally, which Modi was to address.

“PM did not follow the tour programme shared with the Punjab government. The truth is, there were hardly 700-800 persons at the venue (public rally) against an expected 70,000. So, the moment the PM got information that the crowd was not as big as he had expected, he directed his anger towards the Punjab government.”

Elaborating on the incident, Kharge claimed that a “last minute change” in the PM’s tour plan led to the situation. “PMO had minute by minute details of the programme with the exact number of men to be deployed at each of the four locations mentioned, the multiple annexes clearly mentioned the number of security personnel, officers including the TV anchors and cameramen to be present at each location. The plan was shared with the Punjab government. As per the programme schedule, PM was to go by helicopter, hold a public rally and attend the government function. But suddenly he changed his plan and decided to go by road. The previous evening, Dr Channi informed the PMO that three of his officers had tested Covid positive and as he was a primary contact, he could not receive the PM. The CMO had also cautioned about the inclement weather, as the PM’s plan was to come by air (helicopter) and also informed that some farmers could try to give memorandum to PM along the way, if he chose to go by road,” added Kharge.

Slamming Modi for his remark - “Main bach gaya” (I am saved) after the alleged breach of security, Kharge said, “PM should not have made such a false claim. Can you imagine a PM say this? He has the convoy, the security. The PMO has abundant staff, the IB, SPG and all other paraphernalia. In fact, Modi has 5 to 6 times more security than all the previous prime ministers. Yet, he blamed the chief minister and the state government. One should not play petty politics.”

Kharge, who admitted that a security lapse during the PM’s visit was a “serious” matter, informed that the Punjab government had ordered a probe into the incident by a committee comprising a sitting judge of the high court and the chief secretary.


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