SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to roll back the Centre’s decision of extending the Border Security Force’s jurisdiction to over fifty kilometres in three states from the barbed wire fence with Pakistan.
Talking to reporters, the Shiromani Akali Dal chief said he has written to the Prime Minister on this issue and pointed out the urgent need to review the Centre’s directive to extend the territorial jurisdiction of the Border Security Force.
The Union government recently amended the BSF Act empowering the border guarding force to undertake search, seizure and arrest within a 50 km stretch, up from the existing 15 km, from the international border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.
Mr Badal said he had reminded the Prime Minister that he had been one of the most vocal champions of the federal principle and had always stood for genuine fiscal and political autonomy to the states.
He said PM Modi had as Gujarat chief minister objected to a similar directive of the then UPA government.
Mr Badal also stated in his letter that deploying the BSF and giving it “sweeping powers” amounted to “imposing President’s Rule through the back door”.
Mr Badal also castigated Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi for “meekly surrendering” the state’s rights to the Centre and asked him to clarify why did he agree to the proposal during his meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on October 5.
The SAD president also accused Mr Channi of indulging in photo ops.
He said right now attempts were being made to “befool” the people by laying various foundation stones in Punjab by the Channi government.
“These foundation stones will remain stones only as no work will be undertaken on any of these projects in the next two months before the announcement impending poll schedule and enforcement of the model code of conduct,” he said.
He also asked Mr Channi to get his act together and ensure a timely supply of DAP fertilizers to farmers.
“Parkash Singh Badal used to make arrangements for procurement of the fertiliser two months in advance,” he said, adding the Congress party was only interested in fighting for the top jobs and had left farmers on corporates’ mercy.
To a question, the SAD president said the Centre should tell why the law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir was being allowed to worsen.
He said J&K had been turned into a Union Territory and it was the Centre’s responsibility to maintain law and order as well as ensure the security of the minority community people there.