Chandigarh [India], October 18 (ANI): Calling Centre's decision to expand the jurisdiction of Border Security Force (BSF) in Punjab as "illogical" and "authoritarian", Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Monday urged all political parties in the state to work together, specifically warning Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal to not misuse the issue for "vested political ambitions".
"I strongly oppose and condemn the GoI's authoritarian decision to illogically expand the BSF's jurisdiction to 50 km inside the Punjab territory. People of Punjab are greatly offended by this unilateral action. This is an anti-democratic and anti-federal decision by the Modi government," tweeted Channi.
He said all Punjabis must be united in this fight for "upholding Punjab's constitutional dignity and federal autonomy. If necessary, we shall convene a special session of Vidhan Sabha to address this matter."
"In this fight, I urge all political parties in Punjab to work together. I warn Sukhbir Singh Badal not to misuse this sensitive issue for vested political ambitions," he said in another tweet.
The Punjab Chief Minister's statement came a day after Badal on Sunday requested him to convene an all-party meet at the earliest to decide the course of action in this regard.
The move is an outright attack on the federal structure imbibed in the very essence of our constitution, Badal added.
Earlier on October 13, the Ministry of Home Affairs empowered the BSF to conduct searches, arrest suspects and make seizures upto an area of 50 km inside Indian territory from the International Border (IB) along India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh borders.
As per the fresh order, the BSF, which was only empowered to take action up to fifteen kilometres in the states of Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, has now been authorised to spread its jurisdiction up to 50 km without any hurdle or further permission either from central or state governments.
However, its jurisdiction has been cut short by 20 km in the five northeastern states-- Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya-- where it had jurisdiction up to 80 km. Similarly in Gujarat, the BSF's jurisdiction has been curtailed from 80 to 50 km. In Rajasthan, the BSF's area of jurisdiction will remain the same at 50 km. (ANI)