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Has AAP already started separatist politics in Punjab? Netizens point out many inconsistencies in Bhagwant Mann’s claims in the assembly

Speaking in the Punjab assembly, CM Bhagwant Mann alleged that he received a letter from the central government asking for reimbursement worth Rs. 7.5 crores for the 'military's expenditures following the attack on the Pathankot Airbase.

In a recent statement before the Punjab Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann made a claim that following the attack on the Pathankot Airbase, he got a letter from the central government asking for reimbursement worth Rs. 7.5 crores for the ‘military’s expenditures for the length of the operation.

Mann stated that following the letter, he went to meet cabinet minister Rajnath Singh and conveyed his concerns. Mann said, “I told Rajnath Jee to deduct the bill from my MPLADS fund but give me in writing that you have rented military to Punjab and the state is not a part of the country.”

CM Mann’s claims, interestingly, appear to be factually inconsistent. The first point to note is that Bhagwant Mann was only a Member of Parliament from the Sangrur constituency, and any correspondence from the central government would be sent to the Punjab government, not any MP.

The second thing is that Rajnath Singh was the Home Minister then and the military comes under the Defence Ministry. So, meeting him would be to no avail in the case of the military.

The third point pertains to the fact that the central government charges the state for any deployment of the paramilitary forces in their territory. The charges are to be borne by the states for the various kinds of duties that central armed forces perform and Punjab is no exception. Currently, the Home Ministry levies roughly Rs 13 crore per year from states where the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) is deployed. It charges roughly Rs 34 crore per year for CAPF deployment in ‘high risk’ and ‘hardship’ regions.

Social media users slam AAP and Bhagwant Mann, claim such speeches betray their separatist inclinations

Several social media users responded to the statement with their comments. A Twitter user pointed up the statement’s separatist remarks, writing, “Now I realised why some Twitter users of Jammu are supporting this party. Of course, this type of behaviour aligns with what their supporters’ intentions are.”

A popular Twitter user, @theskindoctor13, said what is right or wrong could be debated over, adding that like Punjab many other states were billed for the deployment of CAPF within their geographical jurisdiction. He further noted that such speeches evoke separatist sentiments.

Another user wrote, “AAP’s agenda has come to the fore. Kejriwal has made a complete plan to separate Punjab from India. It’s started.” (Machine translated from Hindi)

A user expressed his anger writing, “As I said earlier, AAP forming govt in Punjab is a victory of ISI. It will take the KhaIstan-separation movement to a different level. These clowns didn’t even wait for a month before showing their true intentions.”

The statement made by CM Mann is inconsistent with the factual findings. To note, a bill was issued to the Punjab government, requesting payment for the deployment of 20 companies of paramilitary personnel in Pathankot and surrounding areas between January 2 and January 27. Eleven companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and nine companies of Border Security Force (BSF) were deployed to fortify the airbase during the terror attack. The bill requested a payment of Rs. 6,35,94,337 from the Punjab government which it refused to pay.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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