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20220105

Sitharaman slams Punjab CM Channi for not wearing mask during press meet after coming in contact with COVID infected person

New Delhi : Slamming Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi's press conference on PM Modi's security lapse incident, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that Channi claimed he had isolated himself after his close aide tested COVID-19 positive but he addressed the press in person without a mask. Earlier today, Channi addressed a press conference wherein he stated, "I had to receive the Prime Minister at Bathinda today but those who had to accompany me tested COVID positive. Hence, I did not go to receive the Prime Minister today as I was in close contact with some who tested positive." Following his press conference, Sitharaman slammed the Congress Chief Minister. She tweeted, "Punjab government claims 10,000 security personnel were deployed. How come they failed to ensure @PMOIndia's movement? Also, CM Charanjit Singh Channi claimed to isolate himself due to his close aide being COVID positive, but addressed the press in person without a mask? Disgraceful and petty." Sithraman further slammed the Congress government in Punjab and said that it is the responsibility of a state's administration to ensure safe passage for the Prime Minister of India. "Today's happenings in Punjab are a cause for concern. @PMOIndia was to pay respects to Shaheed Bhagat Singh and other martyrs. Also, he was to launch several developmental programmes. The utter carelessness shown by the administration led by CM @CHARANJITCHANNI and his...", she tweeted. The tweet added, "...explanations later do not add up. It is the responsibility of a state's administration to ensure safe passage for @PMOIndia 's movement. @INCIndia has shown it not only shirks its duties towards the head of the Indian government but also cares nothing for his safety." The topmost echelons of Congress owe an apology to the people of the country for what they have done, said Union Home Minister Amit Shah after a security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Punjab, and sought a detailed report from the Ministry of Home Affairs. Ahead of the Punjab Assembly elections, Shah said that the "Congress-made happening" in Punjab is a trailer of how the party thinks and functions. Taking to Twitter, Amit Shah said, "Today's Congress-made happening in Punjab is a trailer of how this party thinks and functions. Repeated rejections by the people have taken them to the path of insanity. The topmost echelons of the Congress owe an apology to the people of India for what they have done," Shah said.Shah said that such dereliction of security procedure in the Prime Minister's visit is totally unacceptable. "The Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a detailed report on today's security breach in Punjab. Such dereliction of security procedure in the Prime Minister's visit is totally unacceptable and accountability will be fixed." PM Modi was scheduled to visit Ferozepur on Wednesday to lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 42,750 crore. The Home Ministry has taken cognizance of the "serious security lapse" and has sought a detailed report from the Punjab government. The state government has also been asked to fix responsibility for this lapse and take strict action. The Home Ministry said in a statement that PM Modi landed at Bathinda on Wednesday morning from where he was to go to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter. Due to rain and poor visibility, the Prime Minister waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear out. The statement said that when the weather did not improve, it was decided that he would visit the National Martyrs Memorial via road, which would take more than two hours. The Prime Minister proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police. Around 30 km away from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when the Prime Minister's convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protestors. The Prime Minister was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes. "This was a major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister's schedule and travel plan was communicated well in advance to the Punjab Government. As per procedure, they have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready," the statement said "Also in view of the contingency plan the Punjab Government has to deploy additional security to secure any movement by road, which were clearly not deployed. After this security lapse, it was decided to head back to Bathinda Airport," it added. Government sources said what was witnessed on the flyover was "a surprising scene of connivance between Punjab police and so-called protestors". They said only Punjab police knew the precise route of the PM and "never has such police behavior been witnessed".

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