Prime Minister Narendra Modi was forced to cancel his public address and return to Delhi after a “security breach” prevented him from going to Ferozepur because of a farmers’ road blockade on Sunday.
This was Modi’s first visit to the state in two years.
Modi, who landed at Bathinda’s Bhisiana Airport on Wednesday morning, was stranded on a flyover near Piareana village on Ferozepur-Moga road after a road blockade by farmers prevented him from going any farther. The prime minister had originally planned to take a chopper to Ferozepur but had to take the road route because of bad weather.
As the cavalcade waited, announcements made at a nearby gurdwara brought more farmers to the site, forcing the prime minister’s SPG security team to decide to turn back fearing security risk. Sources said that the cavalcade was stuck on the flyover for nearly 15 minutes.
DIG Inderbir Singh claimed the farmers’ appearance took security teams by surprise.
Hours before his Punjab visit, the prime minister said in a tweet on Wednesday that he was looking forward to “being among my sisters and brothers of Punjab today”.
“At a programme in Ferozepur, foundation stones for development works worth Rs 42,750 crore will be laid, which will improve the quality of life for the people,” Modi said in a tweet.
At the rally, meanwhile, former chief minister Capt Amarinder and Bharatiya Janata Party’s state president Ashwani Sharma took the stage to accuse Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi government of engineering road blockades to prevent BJP leaders and workers from reaching the venue. This comes after BJP leaders claimed that police stopped buses with BJP workers from proceeding toward the rally.
Modi was scheduled to inaugurate development projects of over Rs 42,000, crore including 100 bedded PGI satellite centre at Ferozepur.