BENGALURU: Opposition Leader in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday accused the BJP of politicising the Prime Minister’s security breach issue to defame and destabilise the Congress government headed by a Dalit in Punjab.
Terming the incident as unfortunate, Kharge said SPG, IB and Central agencies were responsible for the incident, but the Punjab government was being blamed. “This is a politics of polarisation and an attempt to defame CM Charanjit Singh Channi and his government,” he told the media.
Kharge said though the State Government had informed the PMO about bad weather well in advance, the IB director had insisted on going ahead with the programme as scheduled. However, at the last minute, they made the change and decided to take the road route claiming that the weather was not good, he said. “It was done deliberately to avoid addressing the party rally as hardly 700 to 800 people had assembled at the venue when they were expecting 70,000 people,” he said.
Kharge took exception to the PM’s reported remarks at Bhatinda airport. “He told officials to thank the CM ‘ki mein airport tak zinda laut paaya.’ How can PM speak like that?” he rued. “He has got 10 times more security compared to previous PMs and, unfortunately, they are now blaming the State Government....” he said.
Kharge said, “Punjab is very volatile about farmers’ issue and naturally when the PM came, some people might have come to give memorandum, but the State Government tried its best to disperse them. No one was near the PM’s convoy, but despite that, you are blaming the state government.”
He accused the PMO, the government and BJP leaders of misleading people to politicise the issue. “We have not taken it lightly. The Punjab government has constituted a committee to probe it and if there is any security lapse on the part of the State Government, they will be punished,” he added. He asked the BJP leaders not to insult the people of Punjab by making irresponsible statements.
Kharge on Thursday advised journalists to learn Kannada. “When you go to Tamil Nadu whether MK Stalin speaks in English in a press conference or Uddhav Thackeray speaks in English in a press conference? (Uddhav Thackeray) he speaks in Marathi, you accept it, but when I speak in Kannada that too in my Hyderabad-Karnataka Kannada, you insist me to speak in English,” he said when some journalists asked him to also speak in English at a press conference in the party office. He, however, went on to make his point in English.