Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 25
At an all-party meeting chaired by Punjab CM Charanjit Channi on Monday, all political parties, barring the BJP, unanimously resolved to ask the BJP-led Central Government to withdraw its notification to increase the jurisdiction of BSF from 15 km to 50 km.
It was also decided to call a session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to outrightly reject the Centre’s notification, CM Channi said.
The Union Government had recently amended the BSF Act to authorise the border guarding force to undertake search, seizure and arrest within a 50 km stretch, up from the existing 15 km, from the international border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.
Addressing reporters, Channi said the meeting was held in a conducive atmosphere and representatives of the political parties passed a resolution that the notification which extended the BSF’s area of operation should be rejected.
“By calling the Vidhan Sabha session, all (the parties) will jointly reject the notification. All parties are unanimous on it,” Channi said while thanking representatives of all the parties for their complete support in the ‘Yagya’.
Channi told the Central Government that the Punjab Government was capable of securing the state while asserting that law and order was a state subject.
He assured all political parties that the posts of chief minister and ministers do not matter to them before the interests of Punjab.
“We are ready to make any sacrifice but will not allow Punjab’s interests to be looted,” he said.
The decision about convening the Vidhan Sabha session will be taken in the next Cabinet meeting.
Channi further said the government will also approach the Supreme Court over this matter.
PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu said the notification on the BSF was timed with coming state Assembly elections and it was politically motivated. The notification amounted to creating state within a state, he said.
Sidhu said law and order was a state subject. He cited the example of West Bengal, where the BSF was used to inflict torture on people during the Assembly elections.
The PPCC chief said as the BJP had been outrightly rejected by people in Punjab, the saffron party misusing its powers to “create trouble” in the state. Sidhu said the Centre had not taken the state into confidence while issuing the notification.
Representatives of the SAD, AAP, Lok Insaaf Party and other parties attended the all-party meeting.
The Punjab BJP boycotted the meeting. —with PTI
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