Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, after receiving severe criticism over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's security breach, expressed regret over the 'unfortunate' incident but also claimed that there was 'absolutely no threat' to the Prime Minister of the country and that there was no security lapse of any kind.
He further asserted that there wasn't a situation of an attack and the Prime Minister's life was not in danger as the protesters on the road were farmers who had led a peaceful agitation in Delhi for over a year.
"The farmers have been agitating peacefully for the last one year. I'm not going to lathi-charge at farmers. We spoke to farmers the whole last night after which they ended their agitation. Today, suddenly some agitators gathered in Ferozepur dist," said Punjab CM.
"If there were any security lapses during PM Modi's visit today, then we will conduct an inquiry. There was no danger to the Prime Minister," he said.
Punjab CM reiterated that his team had asked Prime Minister to discontinue the visit due to bad weather conditions and protests and also claimed that he had no information of PM Modi's sudden route change as there was no mention of a visit by road in his initial itinerary.
"We had asked them (PMO) to discontinue the visit due to bad weather conditions & protests. We had no information of his (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) sudden route change. There was no security lapse during the PM visit," said Punjab CM in a press conference.
On being asked during the presser as to why PM Modi was not welcomed at the airport, the Chief Minister said, "I had to receive the PM at Bathinda today but those who had to accompany me tested COVID positive. Hence, I did not go to receive the PM today as I was in close contact with some who tested positive".
Former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh termed the major lapse in security of the Prime Minister as shameful.
"If 10km from the Pakistan border you cannot secure the Prime Minister of your country and you cancel the event then it is a damn shame," said Captain.
Adding that it was a failure on the part of the State government, Captain said that the incumbent Chief Minister Channi and Home Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa should be immediately sacked and the government should be dismissed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was forced to skip his Ferozepur rally after his security was breached during his visit. His convoy was halted midway and was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes near Hussainiwala, in Ferozepur district.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has called the incident a security lapse and has demanded clarification from the Punjab government on the incident.
“Around 30 km away from the 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 Prime Minister was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister,” the statement by MHA read.