Welcoming Punjab’s move to seek additional paramilitary forces from the Centre, former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, on Tuesday, said realisation has dawned on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Government of the harsh security challenges the state is facing.
The former CM, however, reminded the AAP Government of its strong opposition to the Central Government’s move last year when it decided to extend the operational jurisdiction of the Border Security Forces (BSF) from 15 kilometers (kms) to 30 kms.
“At that time, both the AAP as well as the Congress leaders created a hell about the Centre’s decision, but good, now AAP at least has realised the need and importance of that decision (to extend operational jurisdiction of the BSF),” he said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Amarinder reiterated his warning that Punjab is faced with serious security threats from across the border. “So far, the AAP Government, particularly its Delhi-based leader Arvind Kejriwal consistently denied everything, but now they seem to have realised the intensity of the threat and have requested the centre for extra forces”, he observed.
The former CM hoped the state government, instead of adopting a confrontationist attitude, will cooperate and coordinate with the Central Government to handle all the security and other issues Punjab is challenged with.
“I have always emphasised the need for coordination instead of confrontation with the Centre and thankfully the AAP seems to have realised it, although a bit too late,” he said.
At the same time, Amarinder had a word of advice for Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. “Remember, Punjab is privileged to have the best police force in the country, confident and capable of doing wonders with a proven record with a lot of sacrifices, and have faith in your police force,” he told Mann, adding, assistance from the Centre must not be a permanent feature.