The three-day function organised by the Shiromani Akali Dal-led Punjab government to commemorate 350th year of Anandpur Sahib will conclude on Friday with a political conference to be attended by top dignitaries from across the country.
The three-day event is seen as an attempt of the government to regain its lost political ground and connect with the people of Punjab, especially Sikhs, and its ally the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The SAD-led government hopes to make a new beginning after a spate of controversies in the recent times involving government functionaries and make a new beginning ahead of the 2017 assembly polls.
The three-day event began on Wednesday with the Mata Nanaki Istri Gurmat Sammelan and installation of an 81-foot “khanda” in Anandpur Sahib. On June 18, the “Dharmik Darshan Yatra” carrying relics of Sikh gurus will reach Anandpur Sahib after covering different parts of the state. The “yatra” was also seen as an attempt of the SAD to connect with the people of the state spiritually.
On June 19, the last day of the celebrations, a political conference will be organised which will be attended by political leaders from the Centre and the state, besides religious leaders.
The hopes of the SAD for a financial package for the state and to re-establish itself as the formidable ally of the BJP were dashed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi cancelled his visit to Anandpur Sahib on the concluding day function.
POLITICAL SHOW ON CONCLUDING DAY
CM Parkash Singh Badal, deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, minister of state cabinet, BJP national president Amit Shah, Union home minister Rajnath Singh, Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi and Union minister of state for food processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal, will attend the function in Anandpur Sahib on the concluding day of the celebration on Friday.
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, his Rajasthan counterpart Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Punjab and Haryana governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, Chhattisgarh governor Balramji Das Tandon, five Sikh head priests, Shankaracharya of Dwarka Peeth and yoga guru Ramdev will also take part in the function.
ABOUT the holy city
The city of Anandpur Sahib was founded in 1665 by the ninth Sikh master Guru Teg Bahadur when he bought a patch of land near Makhowal. The city was named Chakk Nanaki after the guru’s mother Nanaki. The place was later named Anandpur Sahib by Guru Gobind Singh. One of the five takhts of the Sikh religion – Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib is located here.