550th celebrations: Pb govt 'blind in arrogance', considers itself above Akal Takht, says HarsimratPTI | Mullanpurdakha | Updated: 12-10-2019 20:38 IST | Created: 12-10-2019 20:13 IST
Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Saturday hit out at the Punjab government over the issue of joint celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev's 550th birth anniversary, saying it has "gone blind in arrogance" to the extent that it "considers" itself above the Akal Takht. She charged Chief Minister Amarinder Singh with "challenging the supremacy" of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs, by deciding to hold a parallel stage to mark the 550th 'Parkash Purb' celebrations at Sultanpur Lodhi.
"Today, this (Congress) government has gone blind in arrogance that it considers itself above the Akal Takht Sahib and the SGPC. What is its compulsion (of having a separate stage) that they had to stoop so low? Leaving its own responsibilities, today what is law and order situation, roads network in the state. Leaving aside their job, they are into setting up their stage," she said. "Why Amarinder is impatient in undertaking the responsibility of the SGPC?" Badal wondered.
The Bathinda MP's remarks came a day after Punjab minister Charanjit Singh Channi accused the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) of trying to stop the state government from holding the function to celebrate the Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary. Badal said "for a devout Sikh a directive from the Akal Takht Sahib is a supreme order".
She said it was extremely unfortunate that the Congress government had decided to hold a parallel function despite an advisory from Akali Takth Sahib Jathedar Harpreet Singh and attempts by the SGPC to hold joint celebrations. "A joint coordination committee was also made for this purpose but Congress representatives of the committee did not let efforts for a joint celebration succeed. This will certainly create confusion amongst the Sikh community and be considered as an act aimed at weakening the Sikh 'qoum' (community)," she alleged.
Both the Punjab government and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) have been at loggerheads on the joint celebrations of Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary to be held next month. The SGPC has decided to hold the main event in a stadium near Gurdwara Ber Sahib in Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala district on November 12, while the state government wants to hold the function at a "tent city" coming up there.
The apex gurdwara body has hired a Delhi firm to set up a separate stage at Sultanpur Lodhi for the celebration. Urging the Congress and the chief minister to follow the state's tradition of attending the religious events organized by the SGPC on such occasions, Badal said, "It's our Guru's 550th Parkash Purab. Let's celebrate it together without any ego clash. If the CM and his cabinet ministers are so enthusiastic to celebrate, they must first perform the duties which the government is supposed to do, like creating an infrastructure to facilitate the pilgrims, which has not been done in the holy city of Sultanpur Lodhi till date."
Asked about other dignitaries coming to Sultanpur Lodhi, the Union minister declared that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would visit Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur on November 8 to inaugurate the Integrated Check Post and also attend the religious function being organized by the SGPC. She said Union Home Minister Amit Shah was scheduled to attend the SGPC function on November 11, with President Ram Nath Kovind presiding over the main function on November 12 at Sultanpur Lodhi.
Speaking about the poll prospects of the SAD-BJP alliance in the upcoming by-elections, Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal said, "It's not only about the Dakha constituency, but the alliance will also win all four seats as I can observe deep resentment in the people against the Congress for breaking the promises made to them."