There was a massive security breach on Wednesday. This forced Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cancel his visit to Ferozepur in Punjab. It happened after some protestors blocked a flyover. This led to a situation that stopped his convoy there for 15-20 minutes. The visibly furious PM reportedly expressed his anger after returning to Bathinda airport on his way back to Delhi.
Officials at Bhatinda Airport told news agency ANI that PM Modi on his return to Bathinda airport told officials there, “Apne CM ko thanks kehna, ki main Bathinda airport tak zinda laut paaya (Thank your CM that I reached Bathinda airport alive)”.
The schedule of PM Modi was to lay the foundation stones of Rs 42,750 crore projects in poll-bound Punjab. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has taken cognizance of this “serious security breach” and has sought a detailed report from the state government. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has also ordered the state government to take strict action against the security breach.
“Today morning PM landed at Bathinda from where he was to go to National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter. Due to rain and poor visibility, PM waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear out.
When the weather didn’t improve, Modi discussed and decided that he would visit the National Martyrs Memorial via road. But it would take more than 2 hours. He proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police.
Around 30 kms away from National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when the PM’s convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protestors. The PM was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major security breach of PM,” the Ministry of Home Affairs statement said.
PM Modi had already sent his schedule and travel plans in advance to the Punjab government. So, as per the protocol, the state has to make necessary arrangements for the logistics. They also had to arrange for security and a ready contingency plan.
“In view of the contingency plan, the Punjab government has to deploy additional security to secure any movement by road. But it was clearly not deployed. After this security breach, the PM decided to head back to Bathinda airport,” the MHA said.
The lapse in the security cover of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Punjab on Wednesday has drawn severe criticism. The criticism was towards the ruling Congress dispensation in the state. The criticisms stretched the matter so far that party president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday reportedly dialed up Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. She was demanding strict action on the phone itself.
Sources have told Times Now that Sonia Gandhi sought strict action over the security lapse. She also told Channi that the security of the Prime Minister “is paramount”. She has demanded stringent action against anyone found guilty.
Reacting to the rumors of Sonia pulling up Channi, Union Minister Smriti Irani questioned the intentions of the Congress chief. She asked whether it was yet another ploy by the Gandhi leader to make someone a “pawn”.
“People celebrating the security breach of PM Narendra Modi for the last 24 hours have woken up perforce. This late political awakening was seeing the country’s anger on how Punjab Congress endangered the PM’s visit. At least Sonia Gandhi accepted that the Punjab Congress was guilty. But is the (Gandhi) family trying to get away with it by blaming the pawn, i.e., Punjab Congress?” Irani asked.
On Wednesday, circumstances forced PM Modi to return to Bathinda airport. It happened after protestors blocked his convoy. The Prime Minister had to wait for 15-20 minutes on the flyover with the protestors barely meters away.
There was reportedly no additional security provided to the PM apart from his usual security cover. PM Modi was en route to Ferozepur to address a rally and announce several development projects worth thousands of crores for poll-bound Punjab.