Not just across border; evacuation divides Punjab Congress
Following fear of retaliation from Pakistan after strike by Indian Army The ongoing evacuation process in Punjab has sharply divided state Congress leaders.
While Amritsar MP and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Capt Amarinder Singh has said he would camp in Amritsar after October 7“in solidarity with the people living in the border areas”, some of his MLAS including leader of Opposition Charanjit Channi have dubbed Parkash Singh Badal’s eviction exercise as “paranoia and hysteria”.
Dera Baba Nanak MLA Sukhjinder Randhawa and Dinanagar MLA Aruna Choudhary have voiced concerns over “creating panic in Punjab border areas”. “There is tension in the border but Army has not been deployed. No village or school has been vacated in Kashmir, Rajasthan or Gujarat. Why only Punjab? Why should we create hysteria and panic,” asked Randhawa. Some of them have also questioned Amarinder’s absence from Amritsar during such a crisis. “He should have been in Amritsar at this moment in the border areas if he’s serious about their problems. Not unreachable,” said a senior Congress leader from Amritsar.
Channi said, “Majority of the border area residents had decided to stay put as crops were about to ripen and there were also several other issues involved. He pointed out the phase when houses in the border belt used to be kachha but over the years, the situation had changed and people had built pucca houses. He said the way the state government went about making announcements in the border area villages to pack up within hours created panic.”
“They should instill confidence among the people rather than spreading fear as the residents of the border areas had faced several such situations earlier. He said Punjab was the only state that had villages right upto the international border,” he added.