Chandigarh, Jan 2 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday took strong exception to the state Governor summoning the top officials to explain the law and order situation in the state instead of seeking a report on it directly from him as home minister.
Amarinder Singh also said it was unfortunate that the Governor “bowed” to BJP's “antics.” The chief minister was reacting to Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore summoning the Punjab chief secretary and police chief to question them on the alleged law and order problems in the state, amid 'sporadic' incidents of damage to mobile towers, according to a government statement.
Notably, Badnore had on December 30 decided to summon the state’s chief secretary and the director general of police while taking a serious note of vandalism of over 1,600 mobile towers during the on-going farmers’ protest.
Reacting to Governor Badnore’s summons to the state’s top officials, Singh said the BJP's “propaganda” on the collapse of law and order in the state is nothing more than a “tactic” to divert attention from the farm laws issue and the resultant farmers' agitation.
If the Governor nevertheless had any concerns on the law and order situation, he should have taken up the matter directly with him as the custodian of the Home portfolio, said the chief minister.
Alleging that Badnore had “bowed” to the antics of the BJP and terming it as “unfortunate”, the CM said it took just a day for the Governor to react to the state BJP leadership's complaint of purported law and order collapse in Punjab.
This was in sharp contrast to the prolonged delay in sending to the President the state amendment bills, passed by all political parties (barring the BJP) in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, for assent, the chief minister rued.
Singh also slammed the state BJP leadership for allegedly adding fuel to the fire, with their “irresponsible” statements, in the already surcharged atmosphere triggered by the “draconian” farm laws.
He termed it a “vicious game-plan” of the party to “undermine” the peaceful agitation of the farmers by terming a few minor incidents of damage to some mobile towers as a law and order problem.
“These damaged towers can be, and are being repaired, but what about the lives of the farmers lost in the bitter cold at Delhi borders, where they continue to fight for their rights amid total apathy from the BJP-led government at the Centre?” asked the CM.
He expressed shock alleging that not a single BJP leader had expressed any concern over the deaths of protesting farmers, including suicide by some.
“The lost lives cannot be recovered,” he said, asking the Punjab BJP leaders to stop “politicising” a peaceful agitation with their “ill-conceived” comments.
Instead of the slandering of the farmers with terms like `Naxalites', `Khalistanis' etc., the BJP should press their central leadership in the government of India to heed the voice of the `Annadaatas' and revoke the “black farm laws” that were “threatening” the livelihood and future of the farming community.
“At a time when the very existence of our farmers is at stake, the BJP leaders are busy indulging in petty politics and also dragging the Constitutional office of the Governor into their unsavoury agenda,” he added.
Amarinder also mocked the BJP Punjab unit's allegations of assault on democracy in Punjab by the Congress, calling it a “shameless act” of “the pot calling the kettle black”.
“A party that has virtually destroyed every single democratic institution in the country has no business calling anyone else undemocratic,” he said. PTI CHS VSD RAX RAX