Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has found himself in the middle of a storm. Ever since PM Narendra Modi and his convoy narrowly escaped a major security crisis on Wednesday en route Punjab’s Ferozepur, Channi has given conflicting statements about the events – implying he was in on the conspiracy.
In the immediate aftermath of the episode, Channi addressed the media and claimed that the security gaffe was natural (Kudrati). Remember, the last time the word ‘Kudrati’ was used in a political statement, the capital city of Delhi was held hostage by anarchists and arsonists.
From Kudrati to no security lapse, Channi changes his version
However, a few hours later, Channi changed his version and stated that there was no security breach. To shield his government’s inadequacy and involvement in the incident, Channi shifted the entire blame on PM Modi and center.
Punjab CM Charanjit Channi on the security breach and blockage of road cavalcade of the PM to @CNNnews18: Yeh kudrati hua. (This happened naturally.)
— Shivani Gupta (@ShivaniGupta_5) January 5, 2022
Channi claimed that the last-minute change in plans caused the kerfuffle, “No security lapse. PM’s road plans were made at the last minute. He was supposed to go by helicopter. I was up late at night overseeing security arrangements for his rally. 70,000 chairs were put up for rally but only 700 people turned up,”
Change in plans were communicated: Indian Express
However, an Indian Express report clearly exposed Channi for giving the excuse of low turnout at the public meeting. The report states that the state government and police were promptly informed about the Hussainiwala detour.
“It was raining in Bathinda when the PM landed at Bhisiana airport at 10.20 am. For over 30 minutes, he waited for the weather to clear before deciding to go to Hussainiwala memorial at Ferozepur, 122 km away, by road around 11.15 pm. This change of plan was promptly conveyed to the Punjab government and the police.”
Even BJP IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya took to Twitter and burst the bubble of lies of CM Channi by tweeting, “Punjab CM Channi has tied himself in knots. First he said 700 people turned up for the rally… Then he said it was kudarti, later he said he was trying to ensure no blockade till 3am… The CS and DGP are part of PM’s cavalcade but in this case, they weren’t… Lies and more lies.”
Punjab CM Channi has tied himself in knots.
First he said 700 people turned up for the rally… Then he said it was kudarti, later he said he was trying to ensure no blockade till 3am…
The CS and DGP are part of PM’s cavalcade but in this case, they weren’t…
Lies and more lies. pic.twitter.com/g8EnyWVj5I
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) January 5, 2022
If there was a change in plan and it was conveyed in advance, the fact that Punjab police and administration failed to act upon it further suggests that Channi wanted the Prime Minister to be stuck in such a situation. By using a technicality — a grey area, Channi is trying to exculpate himself of the willful gross mishandling of the situation.
Punjab police leaked the route to the protestors
Moreover, according to a report by Republic TV, Punjab Police had leaked PM Modi’s route to protestors. Citing, Surjit Singh Phool, a prominent leader of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) the report reveals that, he has confessed to the police’s involvement. It is pertinent to note that BKU was the main force in the protests which stopped PM Modi’s caravan.
So-called ‘protestor’ says they knew PM Modi would be passing this way.
Since #PunjabPolice alone knew of route, this video answers key questions:
1. Who leaked secret info?
2. Why protestors were allowed to come in dangerously close proximity to PM?pic.twitter.com/h4aXAMHDl3
— Kanchan Gupta 🇮🇳 (@KanchanGupta) January 5, 2022
Not just on the junior level, even senior-level law-enforcement officials did not prioritise the visit of the all-important Prime Minister. DGP’s absence in PM Modi’s convoy has become a point of concern for security experts.
Apparently, it’s a protocol that whenever PM visits any state; Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, and DGP receive and more often than not accompany him. However, none of the three were present with the PMs convoy – further raising eyebrows and fingers on CM Channi.
Channi schooled by his predecessor
While CM Channi made a meal of a routine road trip, his predecessor, Captain Amarinder Singh pounced and slammed him for, what could be described as a ‘deliberate mistake’.
Captain Amarinder tweeted, “Complete failure of law and order in Punjab, CM and HM Punjab, in particular. When you cannot provide smooth passage to the Prime Minister of the country and that too just 10km from the Pakistan border, you have no right to stay in office and should quit!”
Complete failure of law and order in Punjab, CM and HM Punjab, in particular. When you cannot provide smooth passage to the Prime Minister of the country and that too just 10km from the Pakistan border, you have no right to stay in office and should quit!
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) January 5, 2022
The home ministry in the aftermath of the incident stated, “Around 30 kms away from 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 PM was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major lapse in the security of PM,”
Make no mistake, the Punjab government and Congress in close cooperation with the protestors were out and about to inflict some serious damage to the most important man of the country. Call it divine intervention or plain, stupid good luck but PM Modi survived a close call – a call which had all the inklings of an assassination attempt.