Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had wanted to visit Punjab to the foundations of numerous developmental projects. These included the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway; the project of creation of four lanes for the Amritsar-Una section and the Mukerian-Talwara New Broad Gauge Railway line. The PM was, also, supposed to lay the foundation stone for Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research’s satellite centre at Firozpur. On Wednesday, he had tweeted that he looks forward to being amongst his brothers and sisters of Punjab.
Punjab is about to have elections in the near future. This was PM Modi’s first visit to the state after the government had repealed the farm laws. The rally that he was supposed to address was to kickstart BJP’s poll campaign in Punjab. Currently, the Aam Aadmi Party is being considered as the main opponent of the current ruling party in Punjab, Congress.
Also Read : India facing security challenges : Naidu
While the PM’s convoy was on its way to the rally at Firozpur, when it was 30kms from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainwala, it was found out that the road is blocked by some protestors. Later on, the Home Ministry released a statement saying, “The PM was stuck on the flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major lapse in the security of the PM. .... after this security lapse, it was decided to head back to Bathinda airport.” From there he flew back to Delhi.
PM Modi’s first visit to the state after he was forced to repeal the farm laws.Wikipedia
The statement from the Union Home Ministry termed the incident as a “security breach” and that the Punjab Government was responsible. There were several comments on the incident while some were of the thought that “The serious breach in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security in Punjab on Wednesday represents the lowest phase in Indian politics. It is a clear sign of the desperation of the Congress and the level of animosity against the elected Prime Minister of the country.” While other varied, saying that the visit was called off because of a fear of low turnout at the rally.
On the same day when this incident took place, the Kisan Ekta Morcha, which was the official handle of the farmers’ movement, tweeted under the hashtag “Go Back Modi” : “Let’s make it very clear. This is because of huge protest by farmers and people of Punjab that Modi had to cancel his event. There were very few people in the rally ground. Most of them were forced to attend. The rally is cancelled due to negative response by Punjabis.”
According to him, “There was no risk to the Prime Minister." LOGAN WEAVER / Unsplash
A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli said: “We deem it appropriate for the time being to direct the Registrar General, Punjab and Haryana High Court to secure and preserve the records relating to the Prime Minister's scheduled tour of Punjab on January 5, 2022... We direct the Director General of Police, Union Territory of Chandigarh and an officer of the National Investigation Agency, not below the rank of Inspector General, to be nominated by the Director General, National Investigation Agency, to assist the Registrar General, Punjab and Haryana High Court to forthwith secure and seize the records from the State police as well as Central agencies.”
On the Friday, 07 January 2022, several BJP MPs protested against the security breach of PM Narendra Modi’s convoy in Punjab. They gathered near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the Parliament complex. The MPs accused Punjab government and the senior Congress leaders for “conspiring to kill the Prime Minister”. The Punjab Chief Minister, on the other hand, said, “There was no risk to the Prime Minister. .... He is our Prime Minister. If there were a threat to his life, I would shed my blood before his (could be shed). This is how Punjabis are.”
It was found out that the road had been blocked by some protestors. Gayatri Malhotra / Unsplash
Such a security breach of the Indian Prime Minister is of a rare nature. Such incidents in the past, when happened have led to severe consequences. How the incident took place had been different but there had been a loop hole in the security of the Prime Minister. The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi had taken place because of such a security breach. A suicide bomber wearing an RDX explosive-laden belt under her clothes had been able to reach Rajiv Gandhi, which caused his death.
(Keywords : Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, security, breach, Punjab, India, development, elections, farm laws, campaign, protestors, convoy, Home Ministry, government, politics, animosity, farmers, people, Parliament.)
- Maritime security, regional connectivity brings together India, US ... ›
- US private Military Contractor Academi “Blackwater” to open security ... ›
The assembly elections for five states from notifications to the counting day are going to be a tough nut to crack for the Election Commission, which, has laid out an elaborate protocol for voters and voting booths and of course, its officials. The EC announced poll schedule for five states -- UP, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa on Saturday. Starting with face masks during the election related activities and maintaining social distancing norms, the Commission has asked all its polling personnel/security personnel/counting staff to be doubly vaccinated before being deployed/engaged in election related activities.
The polling agent/counting agent etc would not be allowed to enter the counting hall/polling station without full vaccination and in case of those who are not, RT-PCR test within 48 hours would be required. All the entry points to such hall/room/ premises used for election purposes would have a provision for thermal scanning of all persons and sanitizer at all entry points.
The Kit for the Polling Officer will include PPEs if needed, mask, face shield, etc. | Photo by Xingyue HUANG on Unsplash
One nodal health officer shall be designated for the State Level, the District Level, and the Assembly Constituency Level to oversee COVID related arrangements and preventive measures during the entire electoral process, the EC said. The other protocols include gloves for officials handling EVM/VVPAT and election material Kit to be prepared and distributed from in a spacious and sufficiently large hall following all safety, sanitation, and social distancing measures. The Kit for the Polling Officer will include PPEs if needed, mask, sanitizer, face shield and gloves.
Similarly, the EC has issued orders for polling arrangements following the Covid protocol. The assured minimum facilities at each polling station will have mandatory sanitization of Polling Station, preferably, a day before the poll; thermal scanner at the entry point of every polling station location; thermal checking of voters at entry point of polling station location/Polling station, either by polling staff or Para Medical staff or Asha worker; markers to demonstrate social distancing for queue; earmarking circle for 15-20 persons of 2 yards (6 feet) distance for voters standing in the queue depending on the availability of space with separate queues for males, females, and PwD/ Senior citizen voters.
Only one voter shall be allowed to stand in front of each polling official maintaining social distance. | Photo by Elizabeth McDaniel on Unsplash
While sanitizer should be provided at the entry/exit point of every polling station, EC said, it also suggested keeping face masks in reserves for those electors who are not carrying the masks. "During the process of identification of voter, the voters will be required to lower the facemask for identification," the EC guidelines said, adding, at any given time, only one voter shall be allowed to stand in front of each polling official maintaining social distance. Voters would be provided hand gloves for signing on the voter register and pressing the EVM button for voting.
COVID patients and all others who may be under quarantine will be allowed to cast their vote at the last hour of the poll day. | Public domain vectors
"Most importantly, COVID patients and all others who may be under quarantine will be allowed to cast their vote at the last hour of the poll day at their respective Polling Stations, under the supervision of health authorities," the EC said. "Needless to add that anybody violating instructions on COVID-19 measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the relevant provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions as applicable. District Election Officer should bring this to the notice of all concerned," Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: elections, pandemic, ECI, challenge, test time, COVID, social distancing mask, gloves sanitiser, polling, polling stations, PPE kit)
With the announcement of the seven-phase polling for assembly elections for five states on Saturday, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has come into force with immediate effect. The Model Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates will be in force till the completion of the election in the states scheduled to go for polls -- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa.
The Election Commission's letter to the Chief Secretaries of the states concerned drew attention to the particular provisions of the MCC relating to the 'party in power' which says that the party in power shall ensure that no cause is given for any complaint that it has used its official position for the purpose of its election campaign. "In particular, the Ministers shall not combine their official visit with electioneering work and also shall not make use of official machinery or personnel during the electioneering work," it said. The restrictions also include use of government transport, including the aircraft, for furtherance of the interest of the party in power.
Election Commission suspends recognition to Sangma’s National People’s Party
The EC letter also drew attention towards the provisions of use of public places, such as parks, maidans etc. and also about who can use the Rest Houses, Dak Bungalows etc. "The issue of advertisement at the cost of public exchequer in the newspapers and other media and the misuse of official mass media during the election period for partisan coverage of political news and publicity gathering achievements with a view to furthering the prospects of the party in power shall be scrupulously avoided," it said.
No ministers or other authorities are allowed to sanction any grants/payments out of the discretionary funds from the time elections are announced nor can they lay foundation stone etc. or make any promises for providing any kind of civil facilities. The Commission also reminded the top state babu about the complete ban on transfer of officials, and in case utmost necessary, to do so with prior permission of the Commission.
No ministers or other authorities are allowed to sanction any payments out of the discretionary funds. | Pixabay
The assembly elections for five states - Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur - would be held in seven phases. Uttar Pradesh would have voting on February 10, 14, 20, 23 and March 3 & 7; Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand would have polling on February 14 while Manipur will have voting in two phases, February 27, and March 3. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: assembly elections, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur, Election Commission', Poll, Model Code Of Conduct)
Karnataka State Congress president D.K. Shivakumar on Thursday said that the proposed anti-conversion law will be repealed in 2023, after the party comes to power in the state.
"I am telling you on record, including Anti-conversion bill, the law prohibiting cow slaughter will also be repealed," he said. Shivakumar further stated that the BJP is under an illusion that they are in majority.
They have forgotten that while taking oath, they had pledged that they will not work for a single community, but will work for the whole society, he said. Hindu farmers are in trouble after banning the cow slaughter in the state, he opined.
"People think, Muslims are affected by the banning of cow slaughter. But, the reality is Hindu farmers used to sell aged, unwanted cows and make some money. They were paid Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 per cow. Now, they are in a difficult situation. No compensation is given to them," Shivakumar explained.
Also Read : The coffee crop of Chikmagalur
"As a President of the Congress party, I am telling you all these laws will be repealed when the Congress comes to power in the upcoming 2023 Assembly elections. This Anti-conversion law will affect the investments in the state. How can you invite investors by passing and implementing such laws," he questioned.
"I am telling you on record, including Anti-conversion bill, the law prohibiting cow slaughter will also be repealed"Unsplash
Shivakumar underlined that the Anti-conversion law will be opposed by the Congress party in Assembly and the bill will be defeated in the council, where the BJP does not have a majority.
Meanwhile, Shobha Karandlaje, Union Minister for State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare questioned why Congress is opposing Anti-conversion law in the state. "What is on your mind? Conversions should not happen in society. Let Hindus, Christians and Muslims practice their religions freely without any fears. Congress is indulging in vote bank politics. Conversions are made through 'Love jihad', this should not happen, he said.
Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said that the JD(S) opposes Anti-conversion law. He said, instead, backwards and poor people's hands should be strengthened. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : Karnataka, Congress, DK Shivakumar, BJP, farmers, anti-conversion law, assembly, elections, state, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, agriculture, welfare, investment.)
- Assam Congress leader Rumi Nath arrested for alleged link to auto ... ›
- Indian National Congress then and now: The dominance of foreign ... ›