SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal addresses media on October 19, 2021. (Twitter/SAD)
Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on October 19, 2021, launched a scathing attack on Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Channi and Narendra Modi government over new powers to the Border Security Force (BSF).
A notification published in the Gazette of India on October 11, 2021, says that the BSF will now have powers to “arrest, search and seize” within 50 km from the international boundary in Assam, West Bengal and Punjab.
Earlier, the BSF’s limit was fixed up to 80 km from the international boundary in Gujarat and 15 km in Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.
Sukhbir alleged that Chief Minister Channi is engaged in photo opportunities and has quietly surrendered rights of the State to Centre.
“The CM has meekly surrendered the rights of State to the centre. Now instead of trying to befool Punjabis, he must clarify why he agreed to the proposal in his meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah October 5, 2021,” asked the SAD Chief.
Channi, however, has publicly denounced the Centre’s move.
“I strongly condemn the GoI’s [Government of India’s] unilateral decision to give additional powers to BSF within 50 KM belt running along the international borders, which is a direct attack on the federalism. I urge the Union Home Minister @AmitShah to immediately rollback this irrational decision,” Channi had tweeted.
Sukhbir also demanded that the Centre must tell why the law & order situation in Jammu & Kashmir is being allowed to deteriorate.
“As it’s a Union Territory now, it is the Centre’s responsibility to maintain law & order and ensure the security of the minority community.”
In the recent past, terrorists have killed minority Hindus and labourers from Bihar in Kashmir.
Sukhbir Badal has also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to withdraw the decision of giving extra powers to the BSF along with three farm laws.
“Have written to PM Narendra Modi urging him to review the central directive extending BSF jurisdiction to over 50 kms deep from the international border of Punjab. Also conveyed to him the urgent need to have the decision rescinded along with 3 farm laws,” tweeted Sukhbir Badal.
The SAD Chief said that giving sweeping powers to the BSF amounts to imposing the President’s rule through backdoor.
“I wish to remind the PM that he was one of the most vocal champions of fiscal & political autonomy to states & as Gujarat CM had objected to a similar directive of then UPA govt. Deploying @BSF_India with sweeping powers amounts to imposing President’s Rule through the back door,” said Sukhbir in another tweet.
The former deputy chief minister of Punjab also demanded that CM Channi must ensure timely supply of DAP fertilizers to farmers.
“Party patron S.Parkash S.Badal Ji during his CM tenure, used to make arrangements for procurement of fertilizer 2 months in advance.”
He asked the CM not to indulge in a sham by calling an investment summit.
“No investment was done in last 5 yrs & none will happen in next 2 months. Instead of seeking the limelight, CM must take steps to control rising dengue cases,” said Badal.
It’s notable that the SAD has been an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but now it has forged alliance with Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections. (PW News)