End row over PM’s security breach, order probe, fix responsibility: Leaders

Leaders across the political spectrum on Thursday said the controversy over the security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab is “unfortunate” and demanded a probe to fix responsibility for the lapse.

Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, chief ministers and former chief ministers condemned the security lapses in Punjab and called for an impartial probe into the incident.

“It is very unfortunate that there is a controversy over the security of the Prime Minister. At no point should we be complacent when it comes to protecting the highest executive office of India. We should learn from the past,” Janata Dal (Secular) supremo Deve Gowda wrote on Twitter.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang were among those who demanded an impartial probe into the turn of the events in Punjab on Wednesday.

“The Prime Minister of India is an institution. It is the duty of every Government to provide foolproof security and safeguard the dignity of this institution. Anything contrary should be unacceptable in our democracy,” Patnaik said in a tweet.

“The prime minister belongs to the entire country. There should be no compromise in his security. The lapses found in Modi’s security during the visit to Punjab are serious. The nation has already lost two prime ministers to such lapses. This incident should be thoroughly investigated,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, quoting Thackeray.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati said the security lapse during the prime minister’s visit to Punjab was “extremely worrisome” and called for a “high-level, impartial probe” to punish the culprits and ensure that such incidents do not recur in the future.

She also called for a halt to the political tussle and the allegations and counter-allegations surrounding the issue.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson Nawab Malik demanded a judicial probe by a judge into the “serious instance” of the security lapse during Modi’s visit to Punjab.

“The state and the Centre have two different views on this. It is important for the people to know the truth,” he said in a tweet.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said there are specific protocols for the prime minister’s security, which should be followed word by word.

“It is necessary to make elaborate arrangements as per the specification at all levels during his visits,” Birla said.

AIADMK leader and former Tamil Nadu chief minister E K Palaniswami said the prime minister’s post is beyond any political party and is respected across the world.

He condemned the lapses in Modi’s security during his Punjab visit and demanded an investigation to fix responsibility.

Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar condemned the lapses in the prime minister’s security and said the Punjab government should have strictly followed the laid-down protocols.

He also said those guilty should be given the strictest punishment.

“Regardless of party, we should always uphold the sanctity of the post of Prime Minister. Such incidents are a security breach and against protocol. Responsibility must be fixed and strict action must follow. Jai Hind,” Tamang said in a tweet.

Former badminton player and BJP member Saina Nehwal also condemned the incident.

“No nation can claim itself to be safe if the security of its own PM gets compromised. I condemn, in the strongest words possible, the cowardly attack on PM Modi by anarchists,” she wrote on Twitter.

In a “major security lapse”, the prime minister’s convoy was stranded on a flyover due to a blockade by protesters near Ferozepur on Wednesday, following which he had to return from poll-bound Punjab without attending any event, including a rally in Ferozepur.

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has denied any security lapse or political motive behind the incident and said his government is ready for a probe.

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