Summon me for law and order, not my officers: CM to Badnore

Taking exception to Punjab governor VP Singh Badnore summoning the state’s chief secretary and the director general of police (DGP), chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Saturday said he (the governor) should have sought a report on law and order directly from him, as he also holds the charge of home department.

On Wednesday, Badnore had summoned the two officers to the Raj Bhavan seeking a report on the law and order situation after at least 1,500 mobile towers were vandalised across the state. Chief secretary Vini Mahajan had met the governor on Friday, with DGP Dinkar Gupta meeting him on Thursday.

Joining issue with the constitutional head of the state, the CM said he (Badnore) was responding to the malicious and politically motivated propaganda of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “The BJP’s falsehoods on law and order collapse are a tactic to divert attention from the issue of farm laws and the farmers’ agitation,” he claimed.

He added that the BJP was indulging in a vicious game-plan to undermine the peaceful agitation of the farmers by terming a few minor incidents of damage to mobile towers as a law and order problem.

“These damaged towers can be, and are being repaired, but what about the lives of the farmers lost in the bitter cold at the Delhi borders, where they continue to fight for their rights, amid total apathy from the BJP-led government at the Centre?” the CM questioned, expressing shock that not a single BJP leader had expressed concern over deaths of protesting farmers, some of whom had committed suicide.

Amarinder also slammed the state BJP leadership for adding fuel to the fire, with their irresponsible statements, in an already surcharged atmosphere that the draconian farm laws had triggered.

Instead of slandering farmers with terms like ‘Naxalites’ and ‘Khalistanis’, the BJP should press its central leadership in the Union government to heed the voice of farmers and revoke laws threatening their livelihood, he added.

Terming it as ‘unfortunate’ that the governor had bowed to these antics of the BJP, the CM observed that it had taken just a day for the former to react to the party leadership’s complaint of purported law and order collapse in Punjab. “This is in sharp contrast to the prolonged delay in sending to the President the State Amendment Bills, passed by all political parties (barring the BJP) in the Vidhan Sabha, for assent,” he pointed out.

Responding to Amarinder’s statement, Punjab BJP general secretary Subhash Sharma said, “The CM should not behave like a Maharaja. He should respect the constitutional head of the state.”

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