Venkaiah Naidu to lead pilgrims’ delegation to Kartarpur: Harsimrat Kaur
The claim by Harsimrat Kaur, a leader of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), a partner in the Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, comes a day after the Centre shared with Pakistan a list of 575 pilgrims that doesn’t have Naidu’s name on it.Updated: Oct 31, 2019, 14:20 IST
Union food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Wednesday claimed that Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu will lead the first jatha (delegation) of pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan through the Kartarpur corridor on November 9 to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
The jatha will be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The claim by Harsimrat, a leader of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), a partner in the Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, comes a day after the Centre shared with Pakistan a list of 575 pilgrims that doesn’t have Naidu’s name on it.
The list includes the names of CM Amarinder, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Union minister Hardeep Puri, MPs and MLAs from Punjab besides Harsimrat. It was also communicated that Amarinder will lead the delegation.
“I don’t know about then Punjab CM (leading the jatha) because the matter is still to be considered in the high-powered committee of the Centre of which I am a part of. There will be clarity on the matter by Friday. But one thing I can say is that there will be only one jatha crossing over to Pakistan on November 9,” Harsimrat said.
“The Punjab CM Punjab can’t claim that he’s leading the jatha. It’s such an auspicious occasion that everyone should be part of as a humble devotee and not as a leader. The Punjab government is misleading people on the issue,” she added.
Former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal will also be part of the delegation, she said.
On Tuesday, Harsimrat disassociated herself from the ‘Punjab CM-led jatha, saying she will be a part of the delegation that will be flagged off by the PM.
CM’s media adviser Raveen Thukral had said Amarinder will lead the delegation and the state government has sent the names of MPs, MLAs, ministers, leaders of political parties and prominent members of Sant Samaj.
The PM will also inaugurate the corridor on the Indian side on November 9, for which the Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) has started erecting a tent area.
Punjab cooperation minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said setting up of a new structure was causing confusion as the state government has also set up a huge structure and the PM was supposed to flag off the pilgrims from there.
“It’s the central government’s function. I don’t know why the state is wasting crores of rupees on that,” said Harsimrat.