BSF jurisdiction row: AAP accuses Punjab CM of surrendering over half of the state to Modi govt
New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday targeted the Punjab government over the issue of extension of the Border Security Force’s jurisdiction by the Centre, saying Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has “surrendered” more than half of the state to the Modi government.
The central government had on Wednesday increased the powers of the BSF by increasing its jurisdiction in poll-bound Punjab by up to 50 km from the international border.
The jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) has been extended by the Centre in the name of national security only to bring over half of Punjab under the Centre’s rule, the AAP alleged.
Extension of the BSF’s jurisdiction in Punjab and other states is “a direct attack” on the federal structure of the country, AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha told a press conference at the party’s headquarters here.
Chadha is also co-in-charge of the party’s political affairs in Punjab, where the Congress is in power.
“By extending the jurisdiction of the BSF, the Narendra Modi government has imposed President’s Rule in more than half of Punjab. This area will now be ruled by the BJP and the Narendra Modi government,” he said.
“It has been done to get an indirect control over Punjab because the BJP has understood that it will not be able to form its government in the state,” Chadha said.
The AAP leader said that his party “firmly” condemns and opposes the Centre’s decision to extend the BSF’s jurisdiction.
He claimed that while six of the 23 districts in Punjab, including Pathankot, Gurdaspur and Amritsar, will come “almost under the complete control of the Narendra Modi government with implementation of the Centre’s decision, another six districts, including Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and Kapurthala, will also be partially under the control of the Centre”.
“This (extension of the BSF’s jurisdiction) is not about national security but national politics. We have apprehensions that through the misuse of the powers vested in the BSF Act, the BJP will try to scare, divide, polarise Punjab, and arrest farmers without any consultation with the state government,” Chadha alleged. “We will not let this happen,” he said.
The AAP is the main opposition party in Punjab where assembly polls are due to be held early next year.
“Channi Sahab surrendered more than 50 per cent area of Punjab to the Modi government,” Chadha charged, targeting the Punjab chief minister on the issue.
He also raised question on the Punjab chief minister’s meetings with Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah earlier this month.
“Understand the chronology. He (Channi) met the prime minister on October 1, (Punjab) governor on October 4, Home Minister Amit Shah on October 5 and on October 14, Modi government decides to extend the jurisdiction of BSF,” Chadha said, and asked Channi to tell the people as to what did he get “in return after handing over half of Punjab to the Modi government”.
The AAP leader alleged that the Narendra Modi government has been “continuously” attacking the country’s federal structure in states where the BJP has not been able to form its government.
“In Delhi, since the Arvind Kejriwal government was formed with full majority, the home ministry has been continuously attacking the federal structure either directly or through the Delhi lieutenant governor’s office,” he alleged.
“But here our Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is not like Charanjit Singh Channi who will surrender before Modi ji. It’s because of him (Kejriwal) the federal structure continues to remain intact in Delhi,” Chadha added.