Modi accepts Badal’s invitation, to preside over Anandpur Sahib event on June 19

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 30, 2015 15:26 IST

In response to the personal invitation extended by Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Prime Minister. Narendra Modi on Friday confirmed his participation in the celebrations to commemorate 350th foundation day of Sri Anandpur Sahib on June 19.

The chief minister, who called on Modi at his residence here at 7 RCR this morning, requested him to preside over the commemoration of the prestigious mega event on the completion of 350 years of Sri Anandpur Sahib - the city of bliss.

Badal apprised the Prime Minister about the brief history and significance of the holy city of Sri Anandpur Sahib, which has the privilege of having been founded by the Ninth Guru, Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji in 1665, who sacrificed his life to uphold human dignity and human rights. Badal also said this revered place was also the birthplace of Khalsa as in the year 1699 the tenth master of Sikhs Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji laid the foundation of Khalsa Panth at this sacred land on the historic day of Baisakhi.

The chief minister said this year June 19 marks the completion of 350 years of coming of this holy town in existence. Badal also informed the Prime Minister that the state government was commemorating this gala event from June 17-19 with all its humility and enthusiasm to pay glorious tributes to the great legacy of this historic town in a befitting manner.

Acceding to the request of the chief minister, Modi accepted the invitation and assured that he would visit the holy city on June 19 to offer his prayers through participation in this mega event.

Meanwhile, the chief minister also flagged up an extremely sensitive issue related to the nomination of chief of the Nanded Sikh Gurudwara Sachkhand Shri Hazoor Abchalnagar Sahib Board, which has been agitating the minds of the Sikhs all over the world, with Modi. He said the Nanded Sikh Gurudwara Sachkhand Shri Hazoor Abchalnagar Sahib Act, 1956 was enacted to constitute the Board, which manages the affairs of the Fifth Sacred Takht of the Sikhs at Nanded Sahib (Maharashtra), adding that this democratic system of electing its own president by the Board was functioning well to the satisfaction of the Sikhs all over the world since 1956.

The chief minister said as the president was elected by the Board, there was necessary cohesion and smoothness in running the affairs of the Fifth Takht hence there was no occasion or provocation to introduce any change in this democratic election of the president. Badal reiterated that the president of the Board has always been elected by the members of the Board since the enactment of the Act.

However, the chief minister brought into the notice of Modi that in February 2015, the Government of Maharashtra amended the said Act through an Ordinance to the effect that the president of the Board would be nominated by the government from amongst the members of the Board. Thus, Badal requested the Prime Minister to use his good offices in prevailing upon the Government of Maharashtra to undo this amendment and restore the time tested sacred democratic principle of allowing the Board to elect its own president.

During the meeting, the chief minister also took up several national issues related to development of agriculture and allied sector, which lasted for about half an hour.

Later, the chief minister also called on the Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and Union home minister Rajnath Singh here at their offices this afternoon to extend invitation for attending this function at Sri Anandpur Sahib. Responding positively to the invitation both Jaitley and Rajnath Singh assured the chief minister to participate in these celebrations.

The chief minister was accompanied by his principal secretary SK Sandhu and resident commissioner Punjab Bhawan K Sivaprasad.

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