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Barely 700 people turned up at rally site forcing PM to retrace his steps, later blame pinned on Punjab Govt: CM Channi

Ludhiana (Punjab) : A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's security breach in Punjab, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Thursday claimed that "barely 700 people turned up at the rally site which forced the Prime Minister to retrace his steps" and later the blame was pinned on the Punjab Government citing security threat. As per a statement issued by the Punjab Chief Minister's Office, Channi while speaking to reporters here today said, "Punjabis have never ever shied away from making sacrifices for the nation and areas patriot a race as any other in the country." He further said, "Here at Dana Mandi, the fact of the matter was that barely 700 people turned up at the rally site which forced the PM to retrace his steps and later the blame was pinned on the Punjab Government citing security threat to the Prime Minister." "The truth is that five days before the scheduled rally of the Prime Minister, the Special Protection Group (SPG) took over the landing spot, rally site, and each security detail but later on the Prime Minister's cavalcade suddenly took land route", said Channi adding the route was cleared by the Special Protection Group (SPG). He also reiterated that if there is any danger to the Prime Minister then every Punjabi is nationalist enough to shed his blood and face the bullets as they have done before in the service of the nation. Sounding a note of caution, CM Channi asked the forces inimical to Punjab to stop defaming the State and questioned what the intelligence paraphernalia around the Prime Minister doing had they sensed any threat perception to the latter's safety.Likewise, CM Channi also asked the 'anti-Punjab forces' to "shun vendetta politics" and advised them to ponder over "why the people, especially farmers, don't like them." Earlier in the day, Channi paid obeisance at Gurdwara Sri Charan Kanwal Sahib, Machhiwara Sahib, and offered a Rumala Sahib there. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also launched the formal taking over of the National College for Women (Machhiwara) as the Government College for Women. Coming to the pro-people measures undertaken by his government, the Chief Minister said that Rs. 2000 would soon be credited into the bank account of every youth of the State. Besides, he listed a reduction in the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 10 and Rs 5 respectively, Reducing power tariff for domestic consumers by Rs 3, bringing water charges down to flat Rs 50, waiving off the power bills to the tune of Rs 19 crore of the gaushalas, increasing the monthly honorarium of the 52,000 Anganwari workers besides the 67000 ASHA workers and Mid Day Meal workers as the main achievements of his government. Among others present on the occasion included the Industries and Commerce Minister Gurkirat Singh Kotli, MLA (Samrala) Amrik Singh Dhillon, MLA (Payal) Lakhbir Singh Lakha, and senior Congress leaders.

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