Apparently to avoid public wrath following the recent developments related to farmers and the sacrilege incidents across Malwa, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal will not attend the state-level function at Badiala village in this district on Friday to mark the death anniversary of Sant Fateh Singh.
Badal was scheduled to visit the village along with senior Akali ministers, but has opted out of the event after farmer unions decided to disrupt the function by showing black flags to the leaders.
However, health reasons were cited for the cancellation of the CM’s visit. “The chief minister was to attend the function, but now he won’t attend it owing to health reasons,” said SAD Rajya Sabha member Balwinder Singh Bhunder.
However, when pointed out that the chief minister had attended the two-day Punjab summit at SAS Nagar, Bhunder said the CM avoided public visits when unwell. The press release issued by the district public relations office a fortnight ago had mentioned Badal as the chief guest. Badal last visited the district during the inauguration of the Central University on September 8 and has not held a sangat darshan in the area in two months. Bhunder said holding a protest is the democratic right of farmers, but it is not right to interrupt public functions. “We know farmers are upset over the crop loss, but their mode of protest is not right,” Bhunder said. Besides Bhunder, Akali leaders Surjit Singh Rakhra, Janmeja Singh Sekhon and Daljit Singh Cheema are likely to attend the event.
Stalwart akali leader
Sant Fateh Singh was a stalwart Akali leader, who was keen supporter of the Punjabi Suba movement.
He repeatedly sat on hunger strike besides threatening selfimmolation in favour of his demand for a Punjabi Suba.