NEW DELHI: The BJP on Wednesday tore into the Congress over the breach in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's security in Punjab, alleging the ruling party of the state tried to "physically harm him" but didn't succeed in its "murderous intentions".
The saffron party asked whether Congress leaders were "happy that the prime minister was on the verge of death".
Modi's Punjab visit was cut short on Wednesday after a "major security lapse" as he was stranded on a flyover for 20 minutes due to a blockade by protesters, prompting the Union Home Ministry to seek an immediate report from the state government and strict action against those responsible.
Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters in Delhi, Union Minister Smriti Irani said, "Planted political instruments were given political patronage by the Congress government in Punjab to breach the security of the Prime Minister of India.
" "Never before in the history of our country has a state government knowingly constructed a scenario where the prime minister of the country will be brought to harm.
" Hitting out at the Punjab government, she alleged police functionaries in the state were "directed to breach the security of the Prime Minister of India and cause him physical harm".
"The Congress failed in its murderous intentions on the holy land of Punjab. Congress leaders were expressing joy over the prime minister's security breach. Were they happy that Prime Minister Modi was on the verge of death?" According to a Home Ministry statement, after the serious lapse in security, Modi's convoy decided to return without attending an event at a martyrs' memorial at Hussainiwala.
The prime minister also could not attend a rally in Ferozepur.
"As a worker of BJP, I am sure the nation shares our outrage over this incident. We know that Congress hates Modi but today they tried to physically harm the Prime Minister of India," Irani said.
"Such is the breakdown of law and order in Punjab that the DGP claims he is incapable of providing support to the prime minister's security detail. Such is the state of administration that a security detail, a protocol to be administratively followed for the head of the state, was dismantled so that Narendra Modi could be brought in harm's way."
She sought to know why did the Punjab police chief give an 'all clear' to the route the prime minister was to take and who in the Punjab government gave information about Modi's route to people who caused the blockade.
Irani also asked when the prime minister's security detail contacted the Punjab police about the circumstances atop the flyover, "why did those who lead security arrangements on behalf of government did not respond"? "These are not mere charges, this is the reality of Punjab under a Congress government.
When the Prime Minister of India's security was breached, Congress leaders erupted with joy asking 'how was his josh'.
The prime minister was magnanimous, according to media reports, that he communicated 'zinda laut raha hoon' (returning alive)", she said.