Amarinder Singh responded to the minister, saying that he and the head of the Punjab Congress Navjot Singh Sidhu He had nothing better to do than make up ridiculous stories for cheap publicity.
In a joint press conference, Punjab Ministers Pargat Singh and Vijay Inder Singla called the Center’s decision to extend the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force as an “attack on federalism.”
While hitting the Center, Pargat Singh also took aim at Amarinder Singh, claiming that he was hand in hand with the BJP.
Pargat Singh, who is the Minister of Education and Sports in the congressional government led by Charanjit Singh Channi, criticized the former chief minister who voiced support for the Center’s move on Wednesday, saying it “will only make us stronger.”
“Let’s not drag the central armed forces into politics,” Amarinder Singh had said.
Calling his statement “unfortunate”, Pargat Singh, a former captain of the Indian hockey team, said: “He acts like he’s with the BJP.”
“What does Captain Sahab (Amarinder) want to prove? I have always said that he is with the BJP,” he said.
Pargat Singh made a reference to Amarinder Singh’s recent visit to Delhi, where he met with the Union Minister of the Interior, Amit Shah. “When he had left before, the acquisition of rice was delayed, now he has done this prank for the Center to extend BSFjurisdiction, “he alleged.
“Captain Sahab, please don’t do this. We respect you, but don’t do all of this after mixing with the BJP,” Pargat Singh said.
Amarinder Singh responded to Pargat Singh, saying that this was the height of the irresponsibility of a minister of state.
“You and @sherryontopp (Navjot Sidhu) are clearly birds of the same feather, with nothing better to do than cook ridiculous stories for cheap publicity …” the media adviser to the former prime minister quoted him in a tweet.
Amarinder Singh also criticized the leader of Congress, Randeep Singh Surjewala, who in response to being asked to comment on the former CM supporting the Center’s move, allegedly said why Amarinder Singh did not write to the Center earlier to increase BSF jurisdiction limit from 15 km to 50 km.
“How ridiculous! Do you mean that I am dictating the decisions of the @HMO (Union Interior Ministry) now not only in Punjab but also in Gujarat, WB (West Bengal), Assam, etc.?” Asked Amarinder Singh. to Surjewala.
“A person who could not win an election in his own state (Haryana), frankly, has no right to speak on national issues,” said the former prime minister.
Pargat Singh stated that with this order from the Center, half of Punjab will come under the control of the BSF.
The Center wants to “then show the Punjab as a disturbed state and press for the imposition of the Governor’s Rule“, he claimed, adding that he will not be successful in his designs.
Minister Singla alleged that the BJP-led central government was trying to “infiltrate the rights of the states, but it will not be allowed to break the federal structure.”
“We have seen before how the Center has tried to weaken the rights and powers of the states,” he said.
Meanwhile, the former head of the Punjab Congress, Sunil Jakhar, said that the security forces should not be used as a political tool.
“We are proud of our security forces, which are meant to secure our borders and protect India from foreign aggressors. Using them to cover up failures and clean up the mess created by leaders and governments is very alarming,” he said in a tweet.
We are proud of our security forces, which are meant to secure our borders and protect India from foreign aggressors … https://t.co/bSWXVWmmhs
– Sunil Jakhar (@sunilkjakhar) 1634196452000
“It not only denigrates our brave forces, but also negatively affects their morale, discipline and preparedness. It is this use of our forces as a political tool that must be avoided. No one knows this better than @ capt_amarinder Singh ji,” he said.
The Union government has modified the BSF Law authorize the force to carry out searches, seizures and arrests in a stretch of 50 km, instead of the existing 15 km, from the international borders in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.
The Union Ministry of the Interior issued a notice on October 11, amending a July 2014 provision for BSF staff and officers while operating in border areas.
Punjab shares a border with Pakistan.
The notification will allow the BSF to execute the powers of search, seizure and arrest in order to prevent any offense punishable under the Passport Law, the Foreigners Registration Law, the Central Law of Excise and Salt, the Law of Foreigners, Currency Exchange. Management Law, Customs Law or any recognizable crime punishable in any other central act, according to officials.