New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday expressed concern about the alleged security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab on Wednesday. PM Modi met the President today and gave him a first-hand account of the security breach, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) was held where the issue was discussed, people aware of the developments said.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu also spoke to the Prime Minister about the incident and expressed his deep concern at the security breach. Naidu hoped that stringent steps will be taken to scrupulously adhere to established security protocol and ensure such a situation doesn’t recur in future, the Vice President’s Secretariat said on Twitter.
PM Modi was scheduled to address a rally in Ferozepur yesterday and lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than ₹42,750 crore. But the event was cancelled because of the security breach. After landing at the Bathinda airport, the Prime Minister was heading to a memorial in Hussainiwala when a road he took was blocked by some protesters. This forced the PM’s convoy to spend about 15 -20 minutes on a flyover.
The Centre, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), security experts and former senior police officers all stressed on the dangerous precedent set by the incident, with both the Union government and the BJP pointing to lapses by the Punjab police and the state government, and alleging that dirty politics was at play.
“Today’s Congress-made happening in Punjab is a trailer of how this party thinks and functions. Repeated rejections by the people have taken them to the path of insanity,” tweeted Union home minister Amit Shah.
Union minister Smriti Irani asked if information about the PM’s route was leaked.
Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi expressed regret over the incident but rejected the BJP’s allegations.
“There was no prior information. I worked till 3am to convince farmers to clear all routes. All roads were cleared by Wednesday morning. Had they told us about the road travel in advance, we would have made proper arrangements,” Channi said at a press conference on Wednesday.
The Punjab Govt has formed a two-member panel to investigate the incident. A petition has also been filed in the Supreme Court, which will he heard on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Bhartiya Kisan Union ( Krantikari), one of the 32 farm organisations involved in the year-long protests against the now repealed farm laws, took responsibility for the blockade.