Facing flak over his “which bomb would’ve exploded due to 30 minute delay” remark about the security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab earlier this week, Congress leader Harish Rawat on Friday said that his comments had been twisted.
“My statement (‘had there been a 30 minutes delay, which bomb would have exploded?’) was twisted. I said that after Prime Minister’s plan changed, the central and state agencies should have sanitized the route and if the programme had gotten late by 30 minutes, ‘kaunsa aasman toot padta (what big deal in this)?” Mr Rawat, a former Uttarakhand Chief Minister, told news agency ANI.
“It was a figure of speech. I said this considering the prime minister’s safety. Such things can be said in matters like these,” he added.
Mr Rawat, who has been AICC-incharge of Punjab, had commented on the security lapse on Thursday.
“If there was change in travel plan, why did the SPG and other central agencies senitise the route along with state agencies. If there was delay of 30 minutes, which bomb would have exploded, what wonder would have happened,” he had told reporters.
Uttarakhand BJP leaders have slammed Mr Rawat for his remarks.
The Union Home Ministry has sought a report from the Punjab Government on the security breach during the prime minister’s visit to Punjab on Tuesday.
The prime minister’s convoy was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes due to road blockage by some protestors about 30 km away from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala.
PM Modi was to visit Ferozepur and lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 42,750 crore.
Congress leaders continue to speak in different voices on the security breach.
Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jhakhar has said that a secure passage for the Prime Minister of India to address BJP’s political rally in Ferozpur should have been ensured.
“What has happened today is just not acceptable. It’s against Panjabiyat,” he had said in tweet hours after the security breach.