Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has lost all moral authority to remain in office, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said on Friday following repeated blast incidents in the vicinity of the Golden Temple.
In less than a week, three explosions have taken place in Amritsar. The third explosion occurred on Wednesday midnight in Galiara, the pathway and park around the Golden Temple, behind the Guru Ramdas Ji Niwas building.
Interacting with reporters, the SAD chief said, "Instead of paying a visit here and taking stock of the situation, the chief minister had been busy in cheap PR stunts." "He even ordered 'Operation Vigil' on the border as part of this publicity drive but did not intensify efforts to nail down culprits bent on spoiling the peace and stoking communal passions in the holy city here," Mr Badal said.
The chief minister has lost all moral authority to remain in office, he said, adding that in Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple), which was venerated across the world, was not safe then nothing was safe in Punjab.
Mr Badal accused the chief minister of failing as a home minister by failing to carry out an intense drive to arrest the culprits.
"Even this responsibility was fulfilled by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee which nabbed the culprits responsible for the blast incidents," he claimed.
Claiming that the recent events point to a "complete intelligence failure", Mr Badal said, "It has been made worse by an administrative collapse. The state is no longer able to safeguard the life and property of its people. This has led to a sense of insecurity among the people and caused loss to hoteliers and businesses, particularly in the holy city." Notably, five persons were arrested on Thursday in connection with the low-intensity blast incidents near the Golden Temple, police had said earlier.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief Harjinder Singh Dhami on Thursday said it was SGPC employees who first noticed the blast in the 'Galiara' and also pinpointed the place from where the explosive material was thrown.
Dhami said the SGPC employees traced a suspect through CCTV footage installed in the Guru Ramdas Ji Niwas (inn) building and later they handed him over to the police.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)