Chandigarh: Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) chief Amarinder Singh on Friday January 21 launched a scathing attack on Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, whose government, he said, had clearly ‘stage-managed’ the blockade that led to a serious security lapse on Prime Minister Narendra Modis route in the state earlier this month.
Amarinder Singh said he had earlier passed the same bridge, where the Prime Minister had been stuck for a long duration, and there was no blockade there.
On January 5, the Prime Minister’s rally in Ferozepur had to be cancelled due to a security lapse after some protesters blocked a route and forced his convoy to spend about 20 minutes on a flyover. The Prime Minister was enroute the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala when the incident happened.
“Clearly, the Channi government had instructed the police not to remove the farmers who were stopping BJP buses from reaching the spot,” Amarinder Singh said.
Describing the incident as a major security lapse which no Constitutional head should ever have to face, and which could easily have become a threat to the Prime Minister’s life given the proximity to the international border, the former Chief Minister said that instead of taking a defiant stand, Channi should have issued an unequivocal apology.
“We are a sensitive border state and Pakistan’s ISI is always looking to create trouble here,” he said, asserting that “one can never take any chances”.
Amarinder Singh also said that the incumbent government has been exposed as a ‘suitcase di sarkar’ after the recent Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids that had unearthed crores of rupees from the premises of Chief Minister Channi’s kin.
In a social media interaction, Amarinder Singh said the ED seizure from Channi’s kin was a follow-up on the case that the agency had registered after he had ordered an inquiry while he was heading the government.
Unfortunately, Amarinder Singh said, he had been unable to take any serious action against the Congress MLAs who were involved in illegal mining in the state as that would have damaged the party’s interests, while Sonia Gandhi had failed to respond to his query on which minister or MLA she wanted him to sack over the issue.
Labelling Channi as a ‘total failure’, the PLC chief said the new Chief Minister has done nothing except indulging in postings and transfers since taking over.
“Three DGPs have been changed, his home minister has been openly accused in a cabinet meeting by his colleague that money was being taken for the posting of SSP, there was a tug-of-war on the AG’s post. This is not ‘lokaan di sarkar’ but ‘transfer posting di sarkar’, which has now also become ‘suitcase di sarkar’,” he added.
“Even the announcements made by Channi are nothing but projects that were launched or announced by me,” said Amarinder Singh, citing the examples of farm loan waiver, jobs under Ghar Ghar Rozgar scheme, investments in Punjab, free bus travel for women, etc.
Amarinder Singh further said that Manpreet Badal, as the finance minister, had scuttled many of his schemes and plans by claiming to have no funds, which, it appears now, was a “total lie”.
On why no sitting Congress MLA was joining the PLC, Amarinder Singh said they are only waiting for their party to announce the tickets, which is being deliberately delayed as the Congress is “scared” of defections.