PM Narendra Modi Prayagraj
Earlier, the protesters came out on roads carrying black flags and placards, with ‘Go Back Modi’ written on them, near Alka Talkies chowk and in other areas in the city | File Photo

‘Thank Channi, I could return to Bathinda airport alive’: PM to officials

PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday thanked Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi for being able to “return to the Bhatinda airport alive” after a “serious security lapse” that left him stuck on a flyover in the state for around 20 minutes.

On returning to Bhatinda airport, he reportedly told officials: “Apne CM ko thanks kehna, ki mein Bhatinda airport tak zinda laut paaya (say thanks to your CM for I could return to the Bhatinda airport alive)”.

The authorities had to abort Modi’s plan to visit the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala and attend a programme unveiling development projects worth around Rs 42,750 crore in Ferozepur, after his convoy got stuck in traffic in Bathinda because of a protest.

The Union Home Ministry, in a strongly worded statement, asked the Punjab government to explain the breach.

The incident triggered angry reactions from the BJP which accused the Congress-led state government of employing “dirty tricks” that even compromised the PM’s security as it feared a “defeat” in the upcoming Assembly polls. The party also alleged CM Channi refused to pick up the phone and attend to the issue.

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