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‘Security withdrawn as I spoke against administration’: Cong Rajya Sabha MP

Congress MP Pratap Singh Bajwa has alleged that the Punjab government has decided to withdraw state police security provided to him as he had spoken against the failure of administration and improper functioning of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

In response to the withdrawal of state police security by the Punjab Government, Bajwa in a statement said, “I had spoken openly against the failure of administration in Punjab and improper functioning of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. Obviously, in his usual manner, he had to resort to hitting below the belt by withdrawing my security and exposing my whole family to risk.”

The Punjab government has decided to withdraw the state police security provided to Bajwa after an assessment showed that he had virtually no threat perception and was, in any case, now getting central security directly from the Union Home Ministry.

A state government official spokesperson said the state police security provided to Bajwa had become redundant since he had procured personal security directly from Home Minister Amit Shah.

According to the spokesperson, the central security Bajwa had got was not at the behest of the Congress leadership. “In fact, the Union Home Ministry had not even consulted the state government to gauge the threat perception, which is usually done before providing central security to any person,” he added.

“Bajwa, as Rajya Sabha MP, may have simply approached the party’s leader in the House, Ghulam Nabi Azad, to seek central security, and as is the norm, the latter could have simply sent his request to the Union Home Ministry. However, for some reason, the Home Ministry chose not to discuss the matter of Bajwa’s threat perception with the state government in this case, which was a clear deviation from the norm followed in such cases,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said Bajwa has actually been getting enhanced security from Punjab Police, way beyond what he was entitled to as Rajya Sabha MP.

“Bajwa was given Z Category security cover by the MHA on March 19 and as of date has 25 CISF personnel for personal security, house protection and escort, besides two escort drivers. Till March 23, he also had 14 Punjab Police personnel deployed with him but a few were withdrawn for COVID-19 duties. He currently has 6 Punjab Police personnel and an escort with a driver, which are now being withdrawn,” said the spokesperson.

Earlier on Thursday, the Punjab cabinet demanded immediate expulsion of Congress MPs Pratap Singh Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dullo for attacking their own Congress government in the state over the hooch tragedy, the chief minister’s office had said in a statement.

Recently, close to 110 people had died after consuming illicit liquor in three districts of the state.

While on Saturday, Bajwa said that mining, liquor, cable, drugs and transport mafias which state Chief Minister promised to end are thriving under his rule.

“Captain Amarinder Singh promised to end the rule of mining, liquor, cable, drugs and transport mafias within four weeks if he came to power, but now even after four years of his rule, these mafias are thriving,” Bajwa told ANI.

He said, “If the Congress has to be saved, then we need to change the leadership in the state.”Bajwa said many party members have repeatedly requested the Chief Minister to sanction a probe into the big distilleries which illegally sold the liquor during lockdown to other states.

Talking about the hooch tragedy, Bajwa said that excise, taxation department along with police and politicians are involved in the illicit liquor trade, and investigation by state authorities can be influenced and so he is demanding a CBI probe.

“CM Captain Amarinder Singh has excise and taxation, home department and police under him. All fingers are being raised at the excise department. No state official has enough power to investigate the Chief Minister’s office. If justice has to be given to 121 people who died in the hooch tragedy, then an investigation should be done by CBI or ED,” he said.

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