New Delhi, Congress on Wednesday hit back at the BJP for levelling “baseless allegations” over the security lapse of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Punjab and claimed that it was due to “empty chairs” at the rally venue and the farmers’ anger over unfulfilled promises that led to cancellation of the Ferozepur rally.
In a series of tweets, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “People of Punjab have shown the mirror to the ‘arrogant’ government in power by distancing themselves from the PM’s rally. Cancellation was due to ’empty chairs’. Please accept your anti-farmer mindset and do some introspection.”
Countering BJP chief Nadda’s allegations that the incident was a “big security lapse” and that farmers were given information of the PM’s car route, Surjewala said, “Dear Nadda ji, stop losing cool and all sense of propriety. Please remember that 10,000 security personnel were deployed for the PM’s rally. All arrangements were made in tandem with SPG and other agencies. Route was carved even for all buses of BJP workers from Haryana/Rajasthan.”
“Do you know why KMSC (Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee) and farmers are protesting against PM Modi? Their demands are- Sacking of MOS Home Ajay Misra Teni, withdrawal of criminal cases against farmers in Haryana, Delhi and UP, compensation for the kin of 700 farmers who died (during the agitation). Committee on MSP (Minimum Support Price) and a quick decision. Post Farmer’s agitation, the Modi government chose to totally ignore these promises. Stop blame game. Hold rallies but listen to Farmers first!,” Surjewala said.
Earlier in the day, Nadda accused the Congress government in Punjab of not providing security and safe passage to the PM’s cavalcade for the rally in Ferozepur district leading to its cancellation.
He accused the state government of having “given access to the protestors” on the PM’s route.
“It is sad that the PM’s visit to launch development projects worth thousands of crores for Punjab was disrupted. But we will not let such cheap mentality hinder progress of Punjab and will continue the effort for the development of Punjab,” the BJP chief tweeted.
The PM’s cavalcade was forced to stop on a bridge near Hussainiwala for 15-20 minutes, constituting a major security lapse.