Cong., Akalis at odds over Punjab festivities

first_imgWhile preparations for celebrating the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev are apace, the ruling Congress is at loggerheads with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab over the holding of a key event at Sultanpur Lodhi.Bid to woo votersIn the run-up to the Assembly by-polls in Punjab, slated for October 21, both parties are slugging it out to woo the Panthic (Sikh) voters against the backdrop of the celebrations. By-polls are to be held for four Assembly constituencies in the State.The Congress and the SAD have been trading charges with each other over the politicised preparations. While the SAD has accused the Congress-led State government of “trying to create a new history” by holding a separate programme from that being organised by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) at Sultanpur Lodhi, the Congress has alleged that “the Badal family” was trying to create hurdles and attempting to exploit the occasion for petty political gains.As the tussle over the event continues, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said, “Religious institutions have their own sphere and the SGPC, a democratically elected religious body, has been conducting all religious functions. The Congress should not try to create a new history.” Week-long celebrationsThe Punjab government is celebrating Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary over a week from November 5-12.Punjab Rural Development Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa alleged, “The ‘Badal’ family was creating hurdles in the joint celebrations of [Guru Nanak Dev’s] 550th anniversary as the design was to lord over the celebrations,” he said, adding that Mr. Sukhbir Badal was now purposely spreading the misinformation.last_img

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