Akali Dal accuses CM Channi of ‘comprising’ interests of Punjab to save chair amid BSF row

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Badal hit out at the newly-appointed Punjab CM claiming that he was selling off the interests of the state to the Centre in a bid to retain power.

Sukhbir Badal, Channi

Image: PTI/ANI

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi is ‘compromising’ the interests of the state to save his chair, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal alleged on Saturday. Addressing a press brief in Ludhiana, Badal hit out at the newly-appointed CM claiming that he was selling off the interests of the state to the Centre in a bid to retain power ahead of the Punjab Elections 2022. His remark after the Central government empowered the Border Security Forces (BSF) to extend its jurisdiction in border areas such as Punjab, a move that has come under contention. 

Badal stated, “This effectively means central forces have policing powers across half the State. He added, “Punjabis are looking up to you to take decisive action on the injustice done to Punjab by the central government. Punjabis also want you to right the wrongs done to the scheduled caste community, especially SC students by your previous cabinet colleague – Sadhu Singh Dharamsot ”

The Akali Dal chief further alleged that Channi’s decisions reflected that he took orders from the Gandhi family instead of acting according to the sentiments of Punjabis. “The Congress State leadership did this earlier also when it acquiesced to the wishes of the Gandhis and supported the framing of the three hated black laws with then chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh part of the committee of CMs which finalized the ordinances,” he said.

Row in Punjab over BSF juriscication

On October 13, the Central Government amended the BSF Act and provided an extension on the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) on the border. This empowers the BSF to conduct searches, arrest suspects and make seizures up to an area of 50 km inside Indian territory from the International border along India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh borders. The move has been taken adhering to the Centre’s “zero tolerance” policy against terrorism, cross-border crimes, and further curb illegal activities linked to national security.

Bristling at this overlapping of powers, Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi has called the Centre’s move a ‘direct attack on federalism’. On the other hand, ex-CM Captain Amarinder Singh has backed BSF’s enhanced presence saying that it only makes India stronger. ‘BSF’s enhanced presence & powers will only make us stronger. Let’s not drag central armed forces into politics,’ tweeted the ex-CM.

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