stalling the cavalcade of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Piareana village of Ferozepur on Wednesday. BKU(K)’s Surjeet Singh Phool told CNN-News18, “We were at least 10 kilometers away from PM’s convoy. We didn’t know that PM was coming by road.” Phool said that PM’s change of route from by air to road especially just a few hours before is questionable. PM Modi, who landed in Punjab’s Bathinda and had to take the road route to Hussainiwala in Ferozepur because of inclement weather, was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes due to a blockade by some farmers, an incident the Union Home Ministry described as a “major lapse” in his security. The PM was scheduled to address a rally in Ferozepur, which was cancelled after the incident.
The BKU(K), however, said that the sit-in was pre-planned and not organised with the intention of blocking PM Modi’s entry to Ferozepur rally. “We were not aware that PM would travel by road as we were told, he would reach the rally site by a helicopter. We were already protesting on the spot and came to know about the PM’s journey only after his cavalcade had taken a U-turn,” the organisation’s general secretary Baldev Singh Zira was quoted by the Hindustan Times as saying.
A delegation of the BJP will meet the Punjab governor regarding the incident on Thursday. Punjab BJP leaders on Wednesday alleged that the state police was instructed not to allow party workers from reaching the rally site at Ferozepur where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to lay foundation stones of development projects.
Several leaders condemned the security breach of the prime minister yesterday. Any lapse in the security of the prime minister is unacceptable, the Aam Aadmi Party said. Reacting to the alleged security lapse during the prime minister’s Punjab visit, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday said the responsibility of the SPG and IB should be fixed as they are primarily responsibility for the PM’s security.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Wednesday said the Congress has no right to remain in power in Punjab after the security lapse. It was not only a security lapse but an attempt to physically harm the PM, he said in a video statement, adding that Modi is not a PM of the BJP but of the country.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s proposed Vijay Rath Yatra in Gonda and Ayodhya later this week has been postponed. Programmes of the party president slated for January 7, 8 and 9 have been postponed and new dates will be announced soon, a party leader said on Wednesday on condition of anonymity.
The leader did not give any reason for the postponement of the programme. According to party sources, Akhilesh Yadav was proposed to visit Gonda and Ayodhya on January 7, 8 and 9 and address public meetings.
The Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday decided to give a one-time grant of Rs 1,000 to widows, destitute women, dependent children and disabled people. This will be over and above the monthly pension of Rs 1,500 being given to them. This financial assistance will be credited directly into their bank accounts. This one-time grant will cost the state exchequer Rs 277.13 crore and benefitting 27.71 lakh beneficiaries, according to an official release.
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