Tight security in Chandigarh ahead of AAP protest

Chandigarh, May 16 (IANS) Security in Chandigarh was tightened on Monday ahead of Aam Aadmi Part (AAP) protests against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal government’s alleged failure to curb the menace of drugs, mafia and corruption.

The area around the residences of the chief minister and his son and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in the upscale Sector 2, was completely sealed by Chandigarh Police with barricades. Scores of police personnel, many of them in anti-riot gear, were deployed in the area.

Chandigarh Police also stationed its personnel around the Haryana Raj Bhawan, the official residence of Haryana and Punjab governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, in Sector 6.

Security was also increased near the Rose Garden chowk and the Sector 7-8 diving road to prevent AAP protestors from proceeding close to the VIP residences.

The AAP protest is against the alleged Rs 12,000-crore missing food grain scam in Punjab, rampant corruption and failure of the Punjab government to curb the drugs racket.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has cancelled all his official engagements for Monday to receive AAP leaders who wish to protest outside his official residence.

“The chief minister has cancelled all his engagements for Monday, including the Sangat Darshan at Dirba in Sangrur district. He will instead be available at his residence to receive any political leader or representative for discussion on any issue concerning the state’s people,” Badal’s spokesman said here.

“The doors of my house remain open 24 hours a day to listen to people and their representatives and to address and solve their problems,” the chief minister earlier said in a statement.

“I will fulfil my democratic obligation and remain present to engage in responsible, meaningful and serious discussion with any representative of the people,” he said, adding “AAP leaders had no control over their workers and resemble an unruly mob in which it is free for all for everyone on every issue”.

In the past, Badal stayed at his official residence to meet Congress leaders protesting outside.

Assembly elections in Punjab are likely to be held in February next year.

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