Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was not honoured formally by the management of Takht Damdama Sahib owing to recent incidents of sacrilege.
However, he was given an informal robe of honour outside the gurdwara premises. Head granthi Jagtar Singh said they had decided not to honour anyone inside the Takht premises to protest against the incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib.
“In view of Rahul Gandhi’s visit, we made arrangements for langar, but clarified to the leaders about the reason for not honouring him and others. Even Rahul came to show solidarity over the incident,” he said.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Rahul visited Mallwala and Manwala villages, visiting farmer families on the way. He entered the houses of farmers Kapoor Singh and Jeevan Singh and interacted with the families. He walked into the fields of Sukhdev Singh Tahni whose damaged cotton crop was standing in the fields.
Addressing people at Mallwala village, former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh set the tone for the next assembly elections by saying that they needed to teach Akalis a lesson or two, though cautioning the cadre that he was not talking of taking the law and order into their hands but teaching Akalis a lesson in the assembly polls. “The Badals wouldn’t be allowed to live in the state and they would have to live in the hotels built by them,” he said.
Targeting the government over firing at Sikh protesters at Behbal Kalan village in Faridkot, Amarinder said, “I too was chief minister for five years and know that such orders come only from high-ups. I can guarantee that if a fair inquiry is conducted, Badals’ hand in such orders would surface,” he added.
*Virtually signalling his command over the Punjab Congress in the coming days, Capt Amarinder Singh appealed to people to stand by him to show the Badals the door
*Even as Rahul Gandhi was addressing people, Amarinder left the venue to enter the gurdwara outside which the event was on at Manwala village
*Every time Rahul addressed the gathering, he began his speech with Sat Sri Akal
*Clad in a white kurta with jeans, Rahul could be seen shaking hands and embracing villagers
*Congress Legislature Party leader Sunil Jakhar said if Modi spoke lies with a 56-inch chest, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal did it with 60 inches, while one couldn’t measure Sukhbir Badal’s chest after hearing his lies
*Bajwa and Amarinder supporters cheered for their leaders and raised high-pitched slogans in support of them
*Sleuths of Special Protection Guard had a tough time in controlling Congress leaders from moving near Rahul
*An uncomfortable situation arose for Punjab Police, when Amarinder remarked that poppy husk was stacked at police stations, from where it was later smuggled into different areas