Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi could not attend a public meeting in Punjab due to road blockade. His public meeting in Ferozepur had to be canceled due to this on Wednesday afternoon. The Union Home Ministry has slammed the state administration for this, saying it was a gross negligence on the part of the Prime Minister.
This was the first visit of the Prime Minister to Punjab in the last two years. This visit became even more important in the context of the state elections and the long-running peasant movement. Before the visit, Modi tweeted after repealing three controversial agricultural laws, “I look forward to meeting my siblings in Punjab. It will be the foundation stone of various development projects, which will improve the living standards of the people of the state.
According to various sources, including news agency ANI, the road was blocked by local farmers in Punjab. The peasantry of Punjab has long been angry with the Center for enacting agricultural laws. However, the Home Ministry statement did not say who blocked the road or what the demands were.
Prime Minister Modi arrived in Bhatinda by air today. From there he was to fly by helicopter to the National Martyrs’ Memorial at Hussainiwala in Ferozepur district. He was scheduled to address a public meeting at the memorial of Rajguru, Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev on the banks of the river Shatadru. But due to bad weather, the Prime Minister decided to go to Ferozepur by road as the helicopter was not allowed to fly. At the end of the two-hour journey, his convoy came to a halt on a flyover. The other end of the runway was blocked by trucks and other vehicles. After waiting for 20 minutes, Prime Minister Modi canceled his visit and returned. The Interior Ministry said it was a serious security breach.
According to a ministry statement, the PM’s visit is always finalized by informing the state government. This was also done in this case. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person. Although the official statement did not say anything about the character of the blockade, the scene of the farmers’ protest spread through social media. Union Minister Mansukh Mandviya told a gathering in Ferozepur that the Prime Minister could not attend the public meeting due to special reasons. As a result, the inauguration of these projects is being postponed. Before the vote, a public meeting was organized to lay the foundation stone of various projects worth Tk 42,650 crore. According to sources, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has asked the Punjab Police Director to be held accountable for the matter.
BJP president Jagat Prakash Nadda has blamed the negligence on the Punjab police and the collusion of protesters. He alleged that Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi did not even pick up the phone. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it was “surprising” how the Special Protection Group, which is in charge of the PM’s security, changed its route at the last minute.