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Controversy erupts as Congress minister objects to Akali names on Kartarpur corridor foundation stone

He accused the Badals of never visiting the Dera Baba Nanak for "the opening of the corridor" when they were in power.

Controversy erupts as Congress minister objects to Akali names on Kartarpur corridor foundation stone

A controversy erupted Monday with a Congress minister objecting to the names of former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal engraved on the foundation stone to be laid for the Kartarpur Sahib corridor.

Punjab's Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa was reviewing the arrangements made for the function at Dera Baba Nanak here when he spotted the names of the Badals on the foundation stone.

A furious Randhawa then enquired about it with the officials concerned.

"I asked them (authorities concerned) about the status of former CM Parkash Singh Badal and former Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal in the government? If they want to write their names, then the name of Rajinder Kaur Bhattal (Congress leader and former CM) and others should also be there," Randhawa said.

He accused the Badals of never visiting the Dera Baba Nanak for "the opening of the corridor" when they were in power. It's not a function of the BJP or the Akalis, he said.

The local MLA said: "It is not a political function. It is a government function, and I told them their (Badals) names should not be there."

"My name should not be with the Badals' on the foundation stone," he said, and then went on to pasting a black tape on his name and that of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, state minister Vijay Inder Singla and Gurdaspur MP Sunil Jakhar.

"This is not a war for taking credit. Nobody's name should have been there. 'The Guru Ka Marg dedicated by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu' should have been mentioned instead," said Randhawa.

After the protest by the Punjab minister, the particular foundation stone was removed.

The Kartarpur Sahib corridor will facilitate easy passage to Sikh pilgrims to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan.

Kartarpur is located in Shakargarh in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab. Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, had spent more than 18 years of his life there.

The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located about three-four km from the border in Pakistan.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor on the Pakistani side on November 28.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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