Congress MLA Pargat Singh on Thursday said that the party will not allow anyone to target the state on communal lines in the wake of the upcoming state Assembly elections and Lok Sabha polls that are scheduled in 2024.
Addressing a press conference here today, Singh said, "I want to appeal to Union Home Minister Amit Shah not to take Punjab in different directions for 2022, 2024 elections. We will not allow anyone to make Punjab communal."
The Congress MLA said the Centre's decision to extend the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) over a wide area in three states, including Punjab, is an attack on the federal structure of India.
"BJP is trying to take away the rights of the states. They should not do this, they should not destroy federal structure... Punjabis have always stood together whether it was the freedom struggle or farmers' protest.. we will fight against this too," said Vijay Inder Singh.
His remarks came after the Centre empowered the Border Security Force (BSF) to conduct searches, arrest suspects and make seizures up to an area of 50 km inside Indian territory from International Border (IB) along India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh borders.
As per the fresh order, the BSF, which was only empowered to take action up to fifteen kilometres in the states of Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, has now been authorised to spread its jurisdiction up to 50 km without any hurdle or further permission either from central or state governments.
Slamming the BJP and former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, Pargat Singh further said, "I've always said Captain is with BJP only. Earlier he went to Delhi to delay paddy procurement and now this... If you're deploying BSF in Punjab it shows your motive is to impose governor's rule."
On the issue of drugs being supplied from across the border as one of the reasons for the BSF's increased jurisdiction order, Pargat Singh added, "The Punjab Police, Chief Minister and Home Minister are competent enough to deal with the problem. I accept there are some black sheep who need to be identified."