Congress accuses the Narendra Modi government of trying to “usurp” the powers of elected governments.
The Congress on October 14 claimed that the Centre’s new notifications that gives search and seizure power to Border Security Force (BSF) violates the spirit of federalism and is a “concerted attack on Constitutionalism”.
According to a new gazette notification of October 11, BSF officials can now search, seize and arrest, at par with their police counterparts, 50 km into Punjab, Bengal and Assam. In these States, the BSF had search and seizure powers up to 15 km.
Speaking to reporters, Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala accused the Narendra Modi government of trying to “usurp” the powers of elected governments.
“This is unacceptable, this is completely unconstitutional, this is unconscionable and this can never be accepted in our federal polity what Modiji is seeking to do is to unseat elected governments by misuse of autocratic powers,” Mr. Surjewala alleged.
He said without consulting the State, the Centre is trying to take over 50% of Punjab from an elected government, “whether it is Punjab Police or the administrative control of the government”.
“We will never accept it, and we urge upon every right thinking citizen to oppose this draconian and autocratic measure being forced upon democracy by annihilating the constitution and federalism by the Modi government,” he added.
The Congress’ strong response comes after vocal protests from its government in Punjab as well as the Shiromani Akali Dal.