Denied honour in 2002, Amarinder given ‘siropa’ inside Golden Temple
Contrary to its 2002 stand, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Monday honoured Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh with a ‘siropa’ (robe of honour) at the Golden Temple here on Monday.
The chief minister, who reached the Golden Temple early in the morning, did a ‘parikrama’ of the holy shrine before offering prayers at the sanctum sanctorum, where head granthi Giani Jagtar Singh presented him the ‘siropa’. Later, the SGPC executive members and office-bearers also honoured him inside the information office.
However, SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar remained absent due to health issues, said the sources. SGPC chief secretary Harcharan Singh was though present throughout.
Amarinder was denied the ‘siropa’ during his visit to the shrine after becoming the chief minister in 2002, which had evoked a sharp reaction. Though the SGPC honoured him with the ‘siropa’ in 2004, but it was not inside the sanctum sanctorum. This time, when Amarinder became the chief minister, SGPC chief Kirpal Badungar had announced beforehand that the CM will be given ‘siropa’ when he visits the Golden Temple.
CM SEEKS BLESSINGS
From the Golden Temple, Amarinder went to Jallianwala Bagh and then to the Durgiana Mandir. The CM and his colleagues later visited Sri Ram Tirath Sthal to offer prayers before leaving for Hoshiarpur, to inaugurate a new tractor manufacturing facility.
In statement, Amarinder said it was a gratifying experience for him to visit the holy shrines, “which are a fountainhead of peace for millions of people from around the world”.
He said he and his colleagues wished to express their gratitude to God for their victory in the recent Punjab assembly elections. He said they had come to these temples to pray for the state, and its peace and development.
Among those who accompanied him were the newly appointed state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, Amritsar MP Gurjit Singh Aujla, cabinet ministers Manpreet Singh Badal, Rana Gurjit Singh, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sadhu Singh Dharmsot. MLAs of Amritsar district and Jalandhar Cantt legislator Pargat Singh were also present.