CHANDIGARH: Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) Chief and former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Friday launched a scathing attack on Charanjit Singh Channi, whose government he said had clearly 'stage-managed' the blockade that had led to the serious security lapse involving the Prime Minister's convoy on January 5.
Amarinder said he had earlier passed the bridge, where the Prime Minister ended up being stuck for around 15-20 minutes, and there had been no blockade there then.
"Clearly, the Channi government had instructed the police to not remove the farmers who were stopping BJP buses from reaching the spot (of the rally in Ferozepur)," he said.
Describing the incident as a major security lapse that no constitutional head should ever have to face and one that could easily have become a threat to the Prime Minister's life given the proximity of the place to the international border, the former Chief Minister said instead of taking a defiant stand, Channi should have issued an unequivocal apology.
"We are a sensitive border state and Pak ISI is always looking to create trouble here," he pointed out, asserting that "one cannot ever take any chances".
Dubbing Channi as an unreliable and untrustworthy person who had made transfers and postings an industry in Punjab in the past three months, Captain Amarinder said the incumbent government had been exposed as a 'suitcase di sarkar' after the recent ED raids that had unearthed crores of rupees from the house of the Chief Minister’s kin.
In a social media interaction, Amarinder said the Enforcement Directorate's seizure of Rs 10 crore from the house of Channi's kin was a follow-up to the case the agency had registered after he had ordered an inquiry when he was heading the government.
Unfortunately, he said he had been unable to take any serious action against the Congress MLAs who were involved in illegal mining in the state as that would have damaged the party's interests and Sonia Gandhi had failed to respond to his query on which minister or MLA she wanted him to sack over the issue.
Amarinder regretted having helped Channi resolve the #metoo complaint against him, saying the then minister had fallen on his feet and pledged loyalty to him for life. "Now he has changed colours and is claiming he had been trying to get rid of me for the past two years!" he said.
On why no sitting Congress MLA was joining the PLC, Amarinder said they were waiting for their party to announce the tickets, which was being deliberately delayed as the Congress is scared of defections.