Punjab CM accuses the Centre of launching a direct attack on federalism by extending the BSF's authority to the state.
India: Fri, 15 Oct 2021 16:21, by: Staff Reporters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP-led administration at the Centre has been criticized by Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi for extending the Border Security Force's (BSF) power over a greater territory along three states' borders

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP-led government at the Centre for extending the Border Security Force's (BSF) authority over a larger region along three states' borders.

He called the move by the Centre a "direct attack on federalism." Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has asked Union Home Minister Amit Shah to reverse the illogical decision.

I strongly condemn the GoI's unilateral decision to give additional powers to BSF within the 50 km belt running along the international borders, which is a direct attack on federalism. I urge the Union Home Minister @AmitShah to immediately roll back this irrational decision,"  tweeted the recently appointed Punjab CM. 

His remarks come as the Centre has given the BSF authority to search, arrest, and seize suspects up to 50 kilometres within Indian territory from the International Border (IB) along the India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh frontiers. The action is intended to preserve "zero tolerance" for terrorism and cross-border criminal activity.

Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, the state's Deputy Chief Minister, also criticised the Centre, claiming that the Modi administration is seeking to warp the Constitution's federal system.

 "There are no justifiable reasons for unilaterally changing the existing arrangements by the Government of India, except to weaken the State Government and the spirit of federalism," said Randhawa. 

"By conferring powers of police officers upon BSF (Border Security Force) officers without consulting State governments or obtaining their concurrence, the Centre is attempting to distort the federal structure of the Constitution," Randhawa added.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi praised the Centre's decision, saying that while our security forces' spirits are high, their hands are tied somewhere and they are caught in a web of government rules. Today, terrorism is a global challenge that must be addressed, which is why this decision should be applauded.

Adding to it the Minister said, "Those who understand the reality of the land will welcome it, but those who don't want to welcome it will do politics. See, states have their rights but national security is everyone's responsibility, isn't it?"

"I've always said Captain is with BJP only. Earlier he went to Delhi to make a delay in paddy procurement & now this... If you're deploying BSF in Punjab it shows your motive to impose governor rule," said Punjab minister Pargat Singh, alleging the role of former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh behind the move.


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