Panj Pyare row: AICC Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat apologises
Under fire, All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat on Wednesday apologised for his Panj Pyare remark, stating that he had no intention of hurting Sikh sentiments.
Rawat, who is in Chandigarh to mediate between the warring factions of the Punjab Congress for unity in the party, said that “sometimes while expressing respect you use such words that are objectionable. I too made the mistake of using the expression Panj Pyare yesterday to refer to our (Punjab Congress) president and working presidents. I am a student of history of the country and the leadership position of Panj Pyare (five beloved ones) cannot be compared with anyone else. I have made this mistake, and I apologise for hurting people’s sentiments,” he posted in Hindi on Facebook.
The former Uttarakhand chief minister also said that as atonement, he will clean a gurdwara in his home state with a broom.
Met Sidhu, Pargat on Tuesday
Rawat had met Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, state general secretary Pargat Singh and two other party leaders on Tuesday at the state unit office in Chandigarh.
After coming out of the meeting, the Punjab affairs in-charge told mediapersons that he had met the Panj Pyare and all issues had been sorted out.
Shiromani Akali Dal demanded apology
His remark drew flak from Shiromani Akali Dal spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema who asked him to withdraw his “irresponsible” statement and tender an apology. “The Congress leader has no right to equate his partymen, who are ‘patits’ and have no knowledge about the Sikh religion with Panj Pyare. The Panj Pyare are respected and honoured in the Sikh community,” he said.