Akalis 'shamelessly and willfully heaped humiliation' on Akal Takht Jathedar: Amarinder Singh

For 10 years, the Akalis had been "totally drunk on power", sparing neither the Akal Takht nor the people of Punjab from their "tyrannical" control, Amarinder Singh said.

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Amarinder Singh
CHANDIGARH: Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday hit back at Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, saying it was the previous SAD government that had "shamelessly and willfully heaped humiliation" on the Jathedar of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs.

Badal had on Saturday slammed the Congress government over the issue of joint celebrations of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, accusing it of having "gone blind in arrogance" to the extent that it "considers" itself above the Akal Takht.

For 10 years, the Akalis, including Badal, had been "totally drunk on power", sparing neither the Akal Takht nor the people of Punjab from their "tyrannical" control, Singh said.


He said the Union minister should stop indulging in "such blatant falsehoods" for her "petty political gains".

Badal had also charged Singh with "challenging" the supremacy of the Akal Takht by deciding to hold a parallel stage to mark the 550th 'Parkash Purb' celebrations at Sultanpur Lodhi next month.

Singh said his government has always treated the supreme Sikh temporal seat with "exemplary respect".
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"Everyone knows how you (Akalis) maliciously ill-treated Akal Takht Jathedars, out of sheer arrogance, and continue to abuse the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) by dictating terms of them," he said, reacting to Badal's allegations.

"The previous SAD government had shamelessly and willfully heaped humiliation on the Jathedar of the Akal Takht," Singh alleged.

"She (Badal) has no scruples, none of the Akalis have," the chief minister further alleged.

He said while Badal was singing praises for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government, her husband, Sukhbir Singh Badal, was going around appealing for forfeiture of the BJP candidates' deposits in the campaign for the Haryana elections.
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Their "obnoxious double standards" had long been exposed to the people of Punjab, who have "outright rejected" the Akali leadership time and again, the chief minister said in a statement here.

Asserting that he had, for months, been personally engaging with the SGPC and appealing for a joint celebration for the 550th 'Prakash Purb', as befitting of the occasion, Singh said it was the SAD which had been "persistently scuttling" his efforts in "their game of upmanship".
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"The manner in which they (Akalis) had been going, on the side, to invite the prime minister and other central government leaders for the separate event of the SGPC clearly exposed their revoltingly true intent," he said.

"What is this if not a desperate bid to hijack the religious event for their own interests", Singh asked, adding that by announcing the "reported and unconfirmed" programme of the prime minister and President, Badal had even lowered the prestige of these high offices.

It is the job of the Prime Minister's Office and the Rashtrapati Bhawan to release the programmes of these dignitaries but Badal was "notoriously disregarding" protocol in her desperation to "flaunt her non-existent power" in the central government, he said.

Badal on Saturday in Dakha had said Modi would visit Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur on November 8 to inaugurate the Integrated Check Post and also attend the religious function being organised by the SGPC.

She had also said Home Minister Amit Shah was scheduled to attend the SGPC function on November 11, with President Ram Nath Kovind presiding over the main function on November 12 at Sultanpur Lodhi.
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