Denying any security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ferozepur to address a BJP rally on Wednesday afternoon, Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi said that his government had no information about the PM’s travel via road from Bathinda airport to Ferozepur.
Soon after the Union home ministry issued a statement citing a major security lapse as the PM was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes due to the road being blocked by protesters, Channi told a TV news channel, “The Prime Minister was to travel by air but because of the rain, his plan was changed. The PM decided to travel by road from Bathinda to Ferozepur suddenly. There was no prior information. I worked till 3 am to convince farmers to clear all routes. All roads were cleared by Wednesday morning. There was no programme of the PM’s travel by road. Had they told us about the road travel in advance, we would have made proper arrangements.”
The chief minister said the PM’s motorcade was stopped when someone parked a cart on the road where Modi was travelling. “It was a natural, there is no security breach,” he asserted.
Channi also took dig at the thin attendance in the BJP’s rally, saying: “They had made arrangements for 70,000 people but only 700 came. Maybe this was why the PM decided to go back.”