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Deadlock over govt-SGPC joint celebrations deepens

October 09, 2019 04:45 AM

COURTESY HT OCT 10

Deadlock over govt-SGPC joint celebrations deepens
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Surjit Singh

surjit.singh@htlive.com

AMRITSAR : The deadlock over joint celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak deepened on Monday with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) asking chief minister to join the event being organised by the apex gurdwara body at Sultanpur Lodhi on November 12.

In a statement, SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal appealed to the Punjab government and religious organisations to celebrate the Parkash Purb jointly as per the directive of the Akal Takht jathedar. “All confusions being created on this issue should end in the interest of the Sikh Panth,” he said.

Longowal’s statement comes three days after Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Badal advised the CM to attend the Parkash Purb celebrations on the SGPC stage.


During his visit to Kartarpur corridor site project at Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district, the Ferozepur MP took on the Capt Amarinder Singh government for holding a function at Sultanpur Lodhi saying that the government was politicising a religious event and it should let the gurdwara body hold the function.

In the same tone, Longowal said the CM should join the gurdwara body in celebrating the gurpurb in most befitting manner as per the past traditions. “The state and the Centre have always been contributing and participating in religious functions organised by the SGPC, and I have every reason to believe that you (CM) will help in upholding this tradition during the 550th Parkash Purb celebrations also. The Punjab government, I hope, will unreservedly support the SGPC in holding the main function as part of the celebrations on November 12 keeping in view of the Akal Takht and the sentiments of the community which is perturbed at the politicisation of such a solemn religious event,” Longowal said.

Saying that he was pained at the manner in which the pious occasion was being used to vent political spleen, Longowal said: “I appeal to everyone to rise above politics and follow Sikh maryada in celebrating the anniversary jointly.”


Blaming the state government for the deadlock, Longowal said two meetings of the coordination committee fixed for August 14 and September 6 could not be held as the government failed to send its representatives. He said subsequently two more meetings of the committee — on September 17 and October 4 — were attended by cabinet ministers Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Charanjit Singh Channi.

He said though the ministers assured that they would get back to the committee after holding talks with the CM, the SGPC is still waiting for the government response. “The SGPC will be grateful if the CM adheres to the sentiments of the committee and agrees to support the religious body in organising the function jointly,” said Longowal.

AMRITSAR : Reacting to an appeal made by the SGPC president to the CM, tourism minister Charanjit Singh Channi said: “Sukhbir Singh Badal is playing the role of a villain amid talks between the SGPC and the state government.

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