550th Parkash Purb celebrations: Akalis politicising event, 2 stages will send a wrong message: Capt
Accuses Harsimrat of indulging in ‘sheer pettiness’, says participation of Vice-President in Kartarpur jatha a matter of pride for Punjab, SikhsUpdated: Oct 31, 2019, 23:23 IST
Accusing the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) of politicising the 550th Parkash Purb of Guru Nanak and obstructing the joint celebrations of the historic event, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday said holding the function from two stages will send a wrong message as it is against the teachings of the first Sikh master.
Talking to mediapersons while reviewing the preparations for the function in Sultanpur Lodhi, the CM said the occasion was one of pride and his government wanted to celebrate it collectively, rising above petty political considerations.
“But the Akali Dal is scuttling all attempts of the state government to ensure the joint celebrations. It’s nothing but sheer pettiness on part of SAD leaders, particularly Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal. I am still appealing to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to organise a joint function,” he said.
“When sending the names of delegates, including Punjab ministers, MLAs and MPs to the Centre for Pakistan visit, I included the Akali MLA and MPs without any discrimination,” he added.
Pointing out that his government spent ₹550 crore to ensure befitting celebrations of the momentous event, Amarinder said the entire occasion had been transformed to a political drama by the Akalis, backed by their ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
In response to a question, the CM rejected the SAD’s claims of the central government funding the majority of the commemorative projects.
“The Centre gave money for only two projects. One of them was partially funded by them. The state government will be spending more on infrastructural development and various events,” he claimed.
It is a matter of pride for Punjab and the Sikh community that the Vice President will also be going to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur, on November 9, when the first jatha passes through the corridor, he added.
Rejects Channi’s claim over
Nankana Sahib delegation
Rejecting the claims of tourism and cultural affairs minister Charanjit Singh Channi that majority of names were not approved by the Union government for a visit to Nankana Sahib, Amarinder said Centre forwarded the 31 applications the state sent but it was Pakistan which turned them down.
On charging $20 fee by Pakistan, he said, “I have no problem in paying the fee but no temple, gurdwara or church charges any money for paying obeisance. Then should we pay fee to Pakistan for this?”
‘Will talk to SGPC on
Kali Bein pollution’
The CM said he will take up the issue of releasing waste water of Gurdwara Ber Sahib langer into the holy Kali Bein with the SGPC.
The state government recently increased the release of water from 250 cusecs to 400 cusecs to drain out polluted water from the rivulet associated with Guru Nanak, he added.
“The government has completed the work of cleaning and fencing of the Bein besides strengthening its banks so that devotees take a dip in it,” he said.
₹96 cr projects launched
The CM launched projects worth ₹96 crore, including three bridges over the Kali Bein, widening and repairing of roads, in Sultanpur Lodhi.
He also dedicated two pontoon bridges over the rivulet for providing passage to VVIPs without obstructing the movement of pilgrims. A state-of-the-art rest house has also been constructed at ₹2.39 crore.
Earlier, he also inaugurated a bio-diversity park dedicated to the first guru, a 66 kV sub-station and a bus stand.