Centre must withdraw move to extend BSF’s jurisdiction: Resolution by all-party meeting convened by Punjab CM

Leaders of political parties barring the BJP attended an all-party meeting chaired by Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi on Centre’s recent notification extending BSF’s territorial jurisdiction

Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi (File photo)
Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi (File photo)

Bipin Bhardwaj

All political parties of Punjab on Monday unanimously resolved to ask the NDA government at the Centre to withdraw its notification regarding the extension of the territorial jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) to 50 km from the existing 15 km.

Leaders of different political parties barring the BJP attended an all-party meeting called by the Punjab government under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on the recent notification issued by the Union government on the BSF’s jurisdiction.

In the meeting, it was also decided to call a session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to reject the notification.

The opposition Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) attended the meeting convened to deliberate on the issue.

“All parties unanimously passed a resolution that this notification be rolled back. If the government does not do it, parties decided that a session of Vidhan Sabha be called over this,” said Channi, adding that all political parties in the state will come together to make the Centre withdraw the notification.

“As this is a matter related to Punjab and Punjabis, law and order is a state subject and it is like a raid on our rights in the federal structure, all political parties in Punjab will come together in the fight to make the Centre withdraw the notification,” the CM.

He further informed that a session of the Punjab Assembly will be convened in the next 10-15 days to pass resolutions against the Union government's notification extending BSF jurisdiction and against the three farm laws too.

“Political parties will hold agitations against the extension of BSF jurisdiction in Punjab. We will also approach the Supreme Court seeking justice in this matter,” added the CM.

The BJP-led Union government had amended the BSF Act to authorise the force to undertake search, seizure and arrest operations within a larger 50 km stretch, instead of 15 km, from the international border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.

Besides the Punjab government, the Trinamool-led West Bengal government has also strongly opposed the decision.

Punjab Congress Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu said the notification on the BSF was timed keeping in view the state Assembly elections due early next year and it was politically motivated. The notification amounted to creating a state within a state, he said.

Sidhu said law and order was a state subject, adding that since the BJP had been outrightly rejected by people in Punjab, the saffron party was misusing its powers to “create trouble” in the state. The Centre had not taken the state into confidence while issuing the notification, he alleged.

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