PM’s return without launching new projects unfortunate: Punjab Minister

CHANDIGARH, Jan 6: Providing a hassle-free, alternative route to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s convoy to reach Ferozepur was the responsibility of the Punjab Home Minister and Police Chief besides various Central agencies, State Minister Rana Gurjeet Singh said on Thursday.
Singh made the remark while terming the Prime Minister’s return without laying foundation stones of various developmental projects in the state “unfortunate”.
Singh, the Punjab minister for Technical Education and Industrial Training Singh appeared to be endorsing the stand of Congress leader Sunil Jakhar who on Wednesday had said, “a secure passage for the Prime Minister of India to address the BJP’s political rally in Ferozepur should have been ensured.”
In a “major security lapse”, Prime Minister Modi’s convoy was left stranded on a flyover in Ferozepur on Wednesday after some protesting farmers blocked the road forcing the PM to return from poll-bound Punjab without attending any event, including a rally.
The Union Home Ministry has sought an immediate explanation from the State Government on the PM’s security breach, saying it did not ensure the requisite deployment with Home Minister Amit Shah too warning that such dereliction of the security procedure during the Prime Minister’s visit is totally unacceptable and the accountability will be fixed.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, however, at a press conference on Wednesday had denied there was any security lapse or political motive behind it and said his Government was ready for an inquiry.
Reacting to PM Modi’s return from Ferozepur on Wednesday, Rana Gurjeet Singh Thursday said, “It was an unfortunate incident and it should not have happened.”
“It is the responsibility of our Home Minister and the DGP Central agencies are equally responsible. They should have talked about the alternative route,” said Singh on Thursday.
“But it (what happened on Wednesday) was not right. It was our responsibility, he (Modi) came to our state,” said Singh.
A probe should be conducted to know what went wrong, he said.
A Prime Minister is the Prime Minister of the country irrespective of which party he belongs to, Singh said.
“He is our Prime Minister and he is a big leader,” he stated.
The Minister, however, said there should not be any delay in the projects for which the foundation stones were to be laid by the PM.
The Prime Minister was scheduled to lay the foundation stones of development projects worth over Rs 42,750 crore, including the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressway and a PGIMER satellite centre.
The projects also included four-laning of the Amritsar-Una section, laying Mukerian-Talwara broad gauge railway line and establishment of two new medical colleges at Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur. (PTI)