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No security lapse: Punjab CM on PM's interrupted visit

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No security lapse: Punjab CM on PMs interrupted visit
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The Prime Minister's security convoy keeps watch as protestors block the road to Ferozepur (Image Credit: India TV)

After a controversy involving the Prime Minister's convoy being stalled in traffic by protestors during a scheduled visit to Ferozepur in Punjab, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Channi has denied allegations of a security lapse in preparations and said that the PM was offered an alternate route to his destination but chose to leave instead.

"The Prime Minister's convoy was stopped way before the spot where protesters were sitting. To lift any protest it takes at least 10-20 mins. The PM was informed about it and also offered a different route but he chose to leave," said the Chief Minister at a press conference.

He also clarified that he had been unable to meet the PM at Bhatinda airport due to close contacts having tested positive for Covid-19.

The Congress party in the state has come under fire from one of its own. Sunil Jakhar, former party state unit chief called the incident 'unacceptable' and said that the PM should have been given the opportunity to attend his rally.

"What has happened today is just not acceptable. It's against Panjabiyat.

A secure passage for the Prime Minister of India to address BJP's political rally in Ferozpur should have been ensured. That's how democracy works," Jakhar tweeted.

Earlier today the Prime Minister cancelled his events in poll-bound Punjab after he was stuck on a flyover for around 20 minutes because of protesters. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, on stage at the event, told the crowd the PM had cancelled "due to some reasons".

The Ministry of Home Affairs had earlier released a statement on the issue, terming it as a "major lapse" in security that left the PM vulnerable on an open road due to lack of planning by the state government. The statement also said tht the government had a responsibility to clear roads according to the planned schedule that was sent ahead of time. The PM returned to Bhatinda airport without attending the rally.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Jagat Prakash Nadda alleged that the Punjab government had tried "all possible tricks" in order to foil the rally at Ferozepur as they feared their upcoming defeat in the assembly polls.

"We know Congress hates Modi, but today they tried to harm the PM of India." Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani claimed. She added that never before in the history of our country, a state government knowingly constructed a scenario where the PM will be brought to harm.

The issue has devolved into a verbal spat between the Congress and the BJP with several prominent Congress leaders mocking the PM being stuck in traffic.

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TAGS:Narendra Modi Punjab Security issue Controversy Assembly Elections 
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