Sukhbir Singh Badal leads Akalis in doing seva at Golden Temple to mark party’s 99th Foundation Day
The Shiromani Akali Dal leadership began its three-day seva (voluntary service) at the Golden Temple as the Akhand Path (48-hour recitation of Guru Granth Sahib) began on Thursday to mark the party’s 99th Foundation Day on December 14.
The entire party leadership, led by Sukhbir Singh Badal, will be staying at the Golden Temple during the duration and performing seva by cleaning utensils in the langar hall (community kitchen); polishing and dusting shoes at the shrine’s jodha ghar; besides sweeping the parikarma (circumambulatory pathway).
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Gobind Singh Longowal polished shoes alongside Sukhbir and former state minister Daljit Singh Cheema, while party leaders Jagir Kaur, also a former SGPC chief, and Bikram Singh Majithia washed utensils at the langar hall on Thursday morning.
Party patriarch and former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal is expected to be present at the culmination of prayers on Saturday. “Thanks to the leadership of Parkash Singh Badal, the Shiromani Akali Dal remained in power for the maximum time in Punjab. His achievement cannot be underestimated. Nobody should be jealous and if anyone wants to outdo him, he should perform better than him,” said Cheema, the party spokesperson, in an informal interaction with the media.
He declined comment on the stand of senior Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, who along with splinter Akali groups, is holding a parallel function to mark the party’s Foundation Day.
Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal attended the beginning of the Akhand Path at the Akal Takht. Besides voluntary service, the leaders will listen to kirtan (devotional songs) at the Golden Temple till Saturday.