The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab president and MP Bhagwant Mann blamed the Channi government, “The Channi government of the Congress has mortgaged Punjab to the Union government as only after Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi had a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah; half of the Punjab was handed over to the BSF, by extending their power. Therefore, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi should tell the people of Punjab the truth about the reasons and weaknesses in which 50 percent of Punjab was taken over by the BJP.”Bhagwant Mann was addressing a press conference at Punjab Bhawan, Chandigarh after attending the all-party meeting convened by the Punjab government on Monday and was accompanied by Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema and MLA Aman Arora. Lashing out at the ruling Congress, Bhagwant Mann said, “The NIA Act and Clause 2 of sub-section of the BSF Act 139, was brought by the then Home Minister P. Chidambaram during the then Manmohan Singh government. With what mouth is the Congress now opposing it?” Targeting the Badal family, Mann said that when these Acts were enacted there was a joint government of the Akali Dal Badal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Punjab at that time, but the Badal government did not oppose these Acts. They did not consider it necessary to respond to the five memoranda issued by the Centre in this regard, but today are doing a drama by protesting.
Bhagwant Mann asked Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi what was his compulsion that he had kept Punjab as collateral with the Centre? Explain to the people of Punjab what deal was struck. By showing which file did the centre twist your arm? Similarly, the former Congress Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh did not care about the rights of Punjab after seeing the files of his family's scams; and was still speaking for the BJP, he added.The MP further lashed out at the Centre and the Punjab government and asked how many more times Punjab would be divided. Punjab which once extended to Kabul-Kandahar; first the British divided it into East and West, then Haryana and Himachal and now it is being divided into districts from Gurdaspur to Tarn Taran and Jalandhar, Moga to Ferozepur. Bhagwant Mann asked CM Channi how much more loot they would make on the rights of Punjab for their personal interests. Punjab has already been looted with decisions like GST, agriculture laws, degrading the Punjabi language; and now the new power act will be imposed soon, he added.Mann said that former Congress Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh was intimidating the people of Punjab by chanting drones and chanting the tune of national security. Drones have been able to enter Punjab, India for only 3-4 km. Then why was the jurisdiction of BSF extended from 15 to 50 km? According to Mann, now the people of Punjab know everything. He said with the extension of jurisdiction of BSF in Punjab, Presidential rule would now be imposed on half of Punjab and BSF would take away the youth of Punjab, hand it over to NIA and Punjab government would say it is not in our jurisdiction.
Bhagwant Mann said that the Aam Aadmi Party would oppose the forthcoming BSF related laws in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and would stand firm on the interests of Punjab. He said the Congress was always maneuvering in Rajya Sabha to get its members to walk out and the Modi government could get its bills passed. Mann also said that the Aam Aadmi Party would launch a regular campaign in the border area to make the locals aware of the law.Replying to a query, Bhagwant Mann said that the Aam Aadmi Party was committed to protect the interests of Punjab and the federal structure. He said that as long as the Punjab government and other parties would fight for Punjab with clear intention and clear policy; until then, the AAP will rise above partisanship and support for Punjab, but whenever it seems that Punjab is being stabbed in the back by adopting double standards; the AAP will expose all this.During the meeting, Bhagwant Mann slammed Home Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa for saying that there has been very little time for a government coup and said, “I immediately corrected Randhawa Sahib and said that the government has not been overthrown, only you (Congress MLAs and ministers) have been overthrown. By doing so, the illusion should not be spread that the Captain government was not a Congress government.”Bhagwant Mann said that former Congress Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh who became the spokesperson of the BJP on BSF Act was still a Congressman. He also alleged that the Channi government had delayed convening the all-party meeting for two weeks when we (AAP) had demanded it immediately. Why to keep Punjab in the dark when there would have been a dharna outside the Prime Minister and Home Minister till now, he questioned.On the occasion, Harpal Singh Cheema demanded the government to immediately convene a session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha for repeal of BSF and black farm laws which should be telecast live. Meanwhile, MLA Aman Arora said that it was important to fight unitedly from the streets to the Parliament against the fatal decision of the Centre to extend the jurisdiction of the BSF, but given the dictatorial attitude of the Union government; it must be challenged in the Supreme Court.