Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday endorsed the Akal Takht’s exoneration of Sirsa dera head Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh of blasphemy charges, saying the Akal Takht is the supreme authority and its word is final.
Asked if the decision of the Sikh high priests was politically motivated and would impact the 2017 assembly elections, Badal said they would see it when they come to that.
Earlier, addressing a gathering at the Eidgah here on Eid, Badal emphasised on peace, harmony and brotherhood in the state saying his government is committed to upholding these.
Badal presented a cheque for Rs 22 lakh to SAD MLA and chief parliamentary secretary Farzana Alam for completion of the Haj office here. He condoled the death of the Haj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, where 14 Indian pilgrims had been among the hundreds killed in the stampede.
He told the gathering that to celebrate Eid with them was always his priority but owing to prior engagements he could not make it last year. “Our government is duty-bound to provide clean drinking water, sewerage, sewage treatment plant, roads and electricity,” he said, adding that the state’s Shagun scheme also extended to Muslim girls and the community should avail of it.
Bashes AAP, Cong
Without naming the Aam Aadmi Party or its leaders, Badal had a dig at them saying running a state is a serious matter and could not be left to artistes. He criticised the Congress saying it had ruled the country for 50 years but had done nothing for the state, especially farmers. Badal refused to comment when asked if he endorsed the demand for a revision in the reservation policy, as stated by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
Referring to the graveyard issue, Badal said, “It is the duty of the municipal committee to arrange the land. In case the MC fails to provide it, the panchayat should give it. And if both fail, the government would make arrangements.”
Intizamia Committee Eidgah president Isran Nazami handed over a memorandum to the chief minister demanding that Milad-ul-Nabi and Muharram be declared as public holidays.
Malerkotla drenched in festive spirit
On Eid, the entire Malerkotla town was decorated and people were seen exchanging greetings. Almost every house in the town had a goat tied in front that was on sale. Abdullah Jameel, a local, told HT, “It is estimated that during Eid celebrations nearly 2.5 lakh goats are sacrificed.” The prices of goats had also gone up and the highest amount paid for a goat this time was Rs 98,000, he added. He said people now preferred rearing their own goats to consume them later. Majority of them donate the skin of goats to mosques or madrasas, which in turn sell them to educate the girl child and for the marriage of girls belonging to economically weaker sections.