Lashing out at the NDA government at the Centre and Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for “not keeping the promises” made for making Punjab a secure state, senior Congress leader Sunil Jakhar on Wednesday said all their claims were hollow.
Referring to the Pathankot attack, Jakhar said people were questioning the Centre as to why the government was not kept in the loop by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before meeting his Pakistani counterpart and why all security issues were ignored. He said external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was also answerable as there was no coordination at the top level in the Centre.
“After the Dinanagar attack in July last year, and before that in December 2014, Sukhbir had announced to beef up security on the border and to modernise Punjab Police, but shockingly the funds received from the Centre in 2011 remained unused,” Jakhar alleged.
He said, “Rs 200 crore was sanctioned for police modernisation in Punjab in 2011, which was to come in four annual instalments of Rs 50 crore each. But in the first year, the state government failed to utilise it and the Centre rejected its utilisation certificate and all funds lapsed.”
He said that after every incident, Sukhbir made promises but did not keep them. “Why has the focus of Pakistani ultras suddenly shifted to Punjab from Jammu and Kashmir. We are like sitting ducks. A similar incident occurred less than six months ago in Dinanagar, only 30 km from Pathankot, and now there is another attack,” Jakhar said.
“This time, ultras came better prepared and were able to stay in a more sensitive place for more time,” Jakhar said, adding that Sukhbir’s claims of bringing highways in the state under surveillance were hollow. Jakhar said Sukhbir pushed the blame on to the Border Security Force for not being able to guard the borders properly.