Two days after a major security breach left Prime Minister Narendra Modi stuck on a Punjab highway for 20 minutes, a video shows a group of BJP workers standing barely a few metres from the PM’s car.
The video shows the group, carrying a BJP flag, shouting slogans of “BJP Zindabad” while standing dangerously close to the Prime Minister’s car – a black Toyota Fortuner -on the other side of the highway.
The car then moves away, with the elite Special Protection Group (SPG) personnel forming a shield.
PM Modi was driving to a rally in Ferozepur when his convoy was caught in the middle of a flyover with protesting farmers blocking the route.
The BJP workers, heading to the same rally, were also stranded as traffic stopped. When they realised that the PM’s convoy was also on the flyover, they tried to get closer to his car.
This is another example of a huge lapse in the PM’s security that day.
Just before the Punjab election, the incident has escalated political sparring between the ruling BJP at the Centre and Punjab’s ruling Congress.
The Centre and the Punjab governments have announced separate inquiries.
The Centre has accused the state government and police of violating security protocol despite plenty of notice about his travel details.
The Punjab government has alleged that there was a last-minute plan change in which it had no role. PM Modi was to fly to the rally site by a helicopter but due to bad weather, decided to travel the 111-km distance by road.
The central government has said there were multiple communications to the state government and that PM Modi’s road route was cleared by the Punjab police chief.
The Supreme Court, hearing a petition calling for an investigation into the security lapse, directed that PM Modi’s travel records be preserved and that both the inquiries be paused until Monday.