“The kind of ‘dadagiri’ (highhandedness) and dictatorship it is, it would not be liked by any party or any State government and the people of the States.”
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday hit out at the Union government over its decision to extend the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF), saying States should have been consulted before reducing the jurisdiction of their police.
Party’s chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj termed the Centre’s move “dictatorship” and cautioned it against taking a highhanded approach in decision-making.
“You (Union government) reduced jurisdiction of the States’ police by increasing jurisdiction of the BSF. The kind of ‘dadagiri‘ (highhandedness) and dictatorship it is, it would not be liked by any party or any State government and the people of the States,” Mr. Bharadwaj said when asked for his party’s stand on the issue.
The Union government has recently amended the BSF Act to authorise the force to undertake search, seizure and arrest within a larger 50 km stretch, instead of the existing 15 km, from the international border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.
“Everybody would have welcomed this decision if it was taken after holding consultation with all the States concerned,” Mr. Bharadwaj said, adding “They (Union government) should work in consultation with the States. Dictatorship will not be appreciated.” While the the Centre’s decision to extend the jurisdiction of the BSF was opposed by the Punjab government on Wednesday, Trinamool Congress (TMC), which rules West Bengal, hit out at the Centre on Thursday, saying it was an “infringement” on the rights of the state and an attack on the federal structure of the country.
“I strongly condemn the GoI’s unilateral decision to give additional powers to the BSF within 50 km belt running along the international borders, which is a direct attack on federalism. I urge the Union Home Minister @AmitShah to immediately rollback this irrational decision,” Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi had tweeted on Wednesday.
The AAP is the main opposition party in Punjab where assembly polls are due to be held early next year.