Punjab crisis: Former CM Amarinder Singh meets NSA Ajit Doval in New Delhi

By PTI

CHANDIGARH: Making a veiled attack on former chief minister Amarinder Singh over security concerns, Punjab Deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on Friday assured everyone that the state is in safe hands and said there is no need to create panic.

Randhawa took strong exceptions to an “alarmist narrative” that is being created by certain people having vested interests about peace and security in Punjab.

He warned against such designs, saying it will create an unnecessary sense of fear and insecurity among the people.

“Rest assured, Punjab is in safe hands,” said Randhawa, while assuring all those who have been raising concerns over the threat from Pakistan after the change of regime in the state.

Drawing attention to Amarinder Singh’s meetings with National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, he asked why such meetings were not held earlier to raise state-related issues.

Amarinder Singh had resigned as chief minister on September 18 after accusing the Congress leadership of humiliating him.

Misgovernance in Punjab would give Pakistan an opportunity to create trouble in the state and in the country, he had said earlier, adding that his meeting with Doval had centred around this issue.

Taking a dig at those who undermine the growing Pakistani threat in Punjab, Amarinder Singh had said that such people were playing into the hands of anti-India forces by being in a denial mode.

On the other hand, Randhawa said there is no need to create panic.

The deputy chief minister regretted that just for the opposition, an alarmist position was being taken to create panic and fear among the people.

“Whom are you trying to help or benefit with such alarmist hue and cry? Facing the challenge is one thing and creating panic and alarm is something else,” Randhawa said.

“And if Punjab is really in danger or trouble right now, then the seeds of that trouble must have been sown much before, certainly not within a week’s time,” he pointed out, while asking for answers as to what was done to nip that trouble in the bud.

Randhawa, who also holds the home portfolio, conducted a surprise check at the Punjab Police Headquarters in Sector-9 here and later had a brief interaction with reporters.

“It is a fact that Pakistan and its intelligence agencies are always trying to create trouble in India and Punjab being the border state is at a greater risk, at the same time, Punjabis are prepared to thwart any challenge with all their courage and might,” he said.

“There is nothing new about this threat as it existed before as well and it will continue in future also. What has changed in the last two weeks?” he asked.

He termed Punjab as the sword arm of the country.

Referring to the sacrifices of Congress party from pre to post independence era, Randhawa said, “Every Congress leader was inspired by their sacrifice and these won’t be allowed to go in vain. We have laid down our lives for defending the unity and integrity of the country.”