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SAD finds an opportunity in Capt Amarinder's appeal not to hold conferences at religious festivals

SATINDER BAINS | January 04, 2019 07:10 PM

CHANDIGARH: Facing flak from the Sikh community due to blot of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib, the Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) finds an opportunity in an appeal made by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh not to hold any political conference at religious festivals of Sikhs. Earlier

Earlier it was Shaheedi Jor Mela at Fathehgarh Sahib and now it is Maghi Mela at Mukatsar for which Capt Amarinder Singh has made similar appeals to all political parties. Interestingly SAD is only significant political outfit which use the religious festivals to reach out to Sikh masses, its traditional vote bank so far.

The SAD perhaps for the first time missed the occassion of Fatehgarh Sahib and very religiously accepted the appeal by Congress leader Capt Amarinder Singh. It may not be out of context to believe that the appeals by Capt Amarinder Singh are aimed to provide an opportunity to SAD leaders particularly Badal family who are in the eye of storm to offer an excuse for their absence.

It is believed that anger of Sikh community against the Badal family was key reason behind poor performance by SAD-BJP alliance in the 2017 assembly elections.  The party also witnessed a split when the senior leaders led by former minister and SAD senior vice president Ranjit Singh Brahmpura formed a new party Shiromani Akali Dal(Taksali). This group had directly attacked the Badal family for ruining Sikh institutions like SGPC and indulging in anti-Panthic activities.

The Akalis always draw theor strength from the religious functions and holding political conferences at three main Sikh festivals, Molla Mohalla at Anandpur Sahib, Shaheedi Jor Mela Fatehgatrh Sahib and Maghi Mela at Mukatsar remained an age old tradition of the party.

on Friday Capt Amarinder Singh again appealed to all political parties not to hold any political conference during the Maghi at Sri Muktsar Sahib, in view of the sanctity of the occasion. He announced that neither the Congress party nor the State Government would organise any public function during the sacred event. Would SAD follow the Congress party's appeal for Maghi festival would be intetresting political development.

A spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said Captain Amarinder Singh felt the occasion should not be marred by any political overtones but should be observed with utmost reverence. The solemn occasion observed every year in memory of the 40 Muktas (liberated ones) who laid down their lives in the battle of Khidrana, now known as Sri Muktsar Sahib, should never be exploited for pursuing narrow, vested and political interests, said the Chief Minister.

The auspicious occasion of Maghi in Sri Muktsar Sahib was being held since time immemorial as a mark of respect to eulogize the supreme sacrifice of 40 Muktas, who valiantly fought against the Mughals. However, the people of Punjab felt that over the past few years such pious occasions were being circumvented by the political parties to pursue their agenda and score brownie points, said the Chief Minister.

Captain Amarinder Singh also appealed to the people, especially the political leaders, to offer their tributes to these brave Sikhs as humble devotees and pay obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum of Gurdwara ‘Sri Tuti-Gandi Sahib’ at Sri Muktsar Sahib instead of holding political conferences/rallies.

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal and his wife Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur and Choef Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had paid obeisance at Fatehgarh Sahib after both parties cancelled their political conferences. The Congress did't hold its conference last year too at Maghi mela.

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