Phagwara, Jan 11: Union Minister and BJP MP Vijay Sampla today supported Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's demand for hightened security along the international border with Pakistan in Punjab saying the "vulnerable" border needs "meticulous" monitoring.
Talking to media persons before attending 'Ek Raat Janata Ke Saath' programme, to be held in far-flung Panchhat hamlet later tonight, the Hoshiarpur MP said vigilance at the international border with Pakistan should be maintained meticulously as it is quite porous and vulnerable.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had yesterday urged the Centre to treat the Punjab frontier at par with Jammu-Kashmir as regards deployment of Border Security force for checking infiltration, in the wake of Pathankot terrorist attack. "Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is fully seized of the matter. The security at the border is increased or reduced as per requirements or sensitivity of the situation. We all need to remain alert and cooperate when it comes to unity and integrity of the country," he said.
Asked about the absence of CM Badal and Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal during Prime Minister Narendra Modis Pathankot Airbase visit, the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment said it was not a political visit.
"The PM has visited Pathankot to motivate Army and the jawans who took part in the operation to neutralise the terrorists," Sampla said.
Disagreeing that Pathankot Airbase attack will adversely affect plans for turning Adampur defence air station into a civilian airport, Sampla said the issue of starting domestic flights from there has reached an advanced stage.
"Actually, three airlines, including Air India, SpiceJet and Indigo, have shown interest in operating domestic flights from Adampur," he said.
Claiming that various reports and departmental clearances have been given for the same, Sampla said the issue of starting domestic flight services has reached its last leg.
"The willingness of the three airlines to operate on the civil air route from Adampur will bring connectivity revolution in Punjab, especially Doaba region majority of whose population is NRIs, besides boosting commerce, trade and business in the state," he remarked.
He also denied there were any hiccups in election of state BJP President. "Election will be held when notification is issued," he said when asked about its postponement. Claiming that SAD-BJP alliance was "rock solid and will contest next polls together", Sampla saw no threat from AAP whom he called a "leaderless party".