Longowal death anniversary: Farmers oppose leaders’ presence, Sukhbir skips SAD’s religious event
Longowal (Sangrur) With political parties cancelling their conferences on the 36th death anniversary of former Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sant Harchand Singh Longowal in Longowal village of the district on Friday, in deference to the farmers’ agitation against the three Central farm laws, it was a day when farmers, under the banner of Kirti Kisan Union, opposed political leaders.
The state government had organised a function adhering to Covid norms at the Longowal grain market, where school education minister Vijay Inder Singla and forests minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot paid tributes to the leader. Scores of farmers under the Kirti Kisan Union opposed the ministers.
Bhupinder Singh Longowal, state leader of Kirti Kisan Union, said, “We showed black flags to Congress ministers at the grain market. We also opposed the gathering of leaders outside Gurdwara Kambowal Sahib, where the SAD had held a religious gathering. Our leaders are busy holding political functions, instead of strongly opposing black laws.”
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal skipped the event held at Gurdwara Kambowal Sahib where ex-Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Gobind Singh Longowal and the acting jathedar of the Akal Takht Giani Harpreet Singh and other party leaders paid tributes to Longowal.
The protesters forced former MP and senior SAD leader Prem Singh Chandumajra to return from the gate of the Kambowal gurdwara. Though Chandumajra tried to convince the protesters to let him enter, they started raising slogans and, allegedly, damaged his car. The former MP returned without attending the event.
SAD (Samyukt) leader and Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa paid his tributes to Longowal in a separate event at Gurdwara Bhai Mani Singh Ji.
Later in the day, Singla, however, claimed that the farmers were not opposing their function but were protesting against the Centre’s farm laws, adding, “Longowal had taken the initiative of Rajiv-Longowal accord for the progress of Punjab. He made a significant contribution to the progress and peace of Punjab and Punjabiyat.” Gobind Singh Longowal condemned the opposition to Chandumajra, adding that the farmers had interrupted a religious event.
Punjab being pushed into a civil-war
like situation: Akal Takht jathedar
Acting jathedar of the Akal Takht, Giani Harpreet Singh, said he suspected that using the three farm laws as an excuse, Punjab is being pushed towards a civil-war like situation and the Centre wanted to impose governor rule in the state.
“I suspect that this is a big strategy of the Central government to push Punjab towards a civil-war like situation and prepare the ground for governor’s rule. Those who are protesting are farmers, and those who are being opposed are also farmers. They are not BJP-backed people. All are farmers and the sangat is also farmers.”
“In Sikhism, politics is not above religion. Due to human desire, however, politics is dominating as people prefer this,” the jathedar added.