Ex-CM’s Support for BSF’s Deep Entry Into Punjab Exposes Chasm in Cong
The Centre’s decision to increase the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) in s few states, including Punjab, has once again brought the simmering cauldron of state politics to a boil as Cabinet minister Pargat Singh accused former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh of being hand-in-glove with the Centre to implement the move.
“What is Captain sahib trying to prove? I always said he is with the BJP. Earlier, when he went to Delhi and met Union Home Minister Amit Shah, paddy procurement was delayed by 10 days and now when he has gone to Delhi again, BSF’s jurisdiction has been increased,” Singh said while talking to the media.
He added, “Captain sahib, please do not do this. We respect you a lot. But do not go down this road. Do not get all this done after mixing up with BJP. The saffron party should also understand that they cannot let Punjab become a disturbed state. It seems they want to impose Governor’s rule in the state. I want to tell them that we will not allow the BJP to be successful in its designs.”
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The minister, who is a close aide of Captain’s bête noire Navjot Singh Sidhu, also said: “The government of India’s decision on BSF is akin to taking over half of Punjab. It is a sample of BJP’s polarisation policy. I want to remind them that Punjab follows Guru Nanak Dev’s ideology and teachings. BJP wants to divide people on communal lines but Punjab has never fallen prey to such designs of rulers.”
The attack comes after Amarinder Singh showed support for the Centre’s move. Tweeting on his behalf, his media adviser said: “Our soldiers are being killed in Kashmir. We’re seeing more & more weapons & drugs being pushed by Pak-backed terrorists into Punjab. BSF’s enhanced presence & powers will only make us stronger. Let’s not drag central armed forces into politics.”
His media adviser further quoted him and wrote, “Partisan considerations can’t & shouldn’t dictate our stand on issues of national security. I’d said that at the time of the 2016 surgical strikes & am saying it again. We’ve to rise above politics when India’s security is at stake, as it is now: @capt_amarinder”.
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Pargat Singh was not the only one who hit out at Captain, whose public outburst against the Gandhis after resignation as Punjab chief minister and subsequent meetings with Home Minister Amit Shah and NSA Ajit Doval had raised eyebrows in political circles.
Former Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sunil Jakhar also launched a veiled attack on Amarinder through his tweets. “We are proud of our security forces which are meant to secure our borders and protect India from foreign aggressors. Using them to cover up the failures & to clean up the mess created by leaders & govts is very alarming. It not only denigrates our brave forces but also adversely affects their morale, discipline & preparedness. It’s this use of our forces as political tool which should be avoided. No one knows it better than @capt_amarinder Singh ji. I visited BSF officers when Akalis were making them scapegoat for their govt’s failures 2014,” Jakhar tweeted.