PM security lapse row: It was an attempt to gain public sympathy, says Rakesh Tikait

Government sources said what was witnessed on the flyover was "a surprising scene of connivance between Punjab police and so-called protestors".

New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed event at Ferozepur in Punjab on Wednesday had to be cancelled owing to security lapse, national spokesperson of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Rakesh Tikait said that it was an attempt by the Centre to find a cheap way to gain public sympathy.

Speaking to ANI in this regard, Tikait said, “When the Prime Minister was coming to Punjab, what arrangements did he make regarding security? The news about him saying that he survived makes it clear that it was a stunt. It was an attempt to find a cheap way to gain public sympathy.”

The farmer leader further said that the Prime Minister should not have opted to go to Punjab.

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“Central Government says that there was a security lapse and the Punjab Government says that Prime Minister did not go there because chairs in his rally were empty. Both are only trying to defend themselves. The Prime Minister should not have gone there,” Tikait said.

Regarding the cancelled event of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Ferozepur in Punjab, Tikait on Wednesday said one needs to investigate whether there was a security lapse or the farmers were expressing their anger.

“There is talk about rally being cancelled due to lapse in the security of PM Modi ji. On the other hand, the Chief Minister of Punjab is claiming the PM returned witnessing empty chairs. Now it is necessary to investigate whether there is a lapse in the security or the farmers were expressing their anger,” Tikait said in a tweet in Hindi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed event at Ferozepur in Punjab had to be cancelled owing to a ‘security lapse’, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement today.

The ministry has sought a detailed report from the State government, fix responsibility for the lapse and take strict action.

PM Modi was scheduled to visit Ferozepur on Wednesday to lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 42,750 crore.

The Home Ministry said in a statement that PM Modi landed at Bathinda on Wednesday morning from where he was to go to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter.

Due to rain and poor visibility, the Prime Minister waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear out.

The statement said that when the weather did not improve, it was decided that he would visit the National Marytrs Memorial via road, which would take more than two hours. The Prime Minister proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police.

Around 30 kms away from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when the Prime Minister’s convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protestors.

The Prime Minister was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes.

“This was a major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister’s schedule and travel plan was communicated well in advance to the Punjab Government. As per procedure, they have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready,” the statement said.

“Also in view of the contingency plan the Punjab Government has to deploy additional security to secure any movement by road, which were clearly not deployed. After this security lapse, it was decided to head back to Bathinda Airport,” it added.

Government sources said what was witnessed on the flyover was “a surprising scene of connivance between Punjab police and so-called protestors”.

They said only Punjab police knew the precise route of the PM and “never has such police behaviour been witnessed”.

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