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Pb govt urges SGPC to join it on Nov 12 to celebrate Guru Nanak Dev 550th birth anniv

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: October 26, 2019  | 22:01 IST

Chandigarh, Oct 26 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amaridner Singh on Saturday urged SGPC to join the government in celebrating Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev's 550th birth anniversary on November 12 at Sultanpur Lodhi. Chief Minister Singh also said President Ram Nath Kovind will attend this event. He further said the main function on November 11 at which the Union Home Minister is expected, could be held under the purview of the apex gurdwara body-Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. The move is seen as a new formula to break the impasse on joint celebrations of the 550th celebrations between the state government and the SGPC. The suggestion was made by the chief minister at his meeting here with SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal. The Chief Minister had invited Longowal for the meeting at his official residence here, an official spokesperson said. The chief minister expressed his concern during the meeting about the lack of unity on this historic occasion, especially in view of the participation by high-ranking dignitaries like the president and the prime minister of the country in various events. Underlining the embarrassment this would cause to all concerned, Amarinder Singh said the Sikh community had always remained united in such celebrations in the past. He warned that any deviation from the past practice would cause irreparable damage to the community. Longowal apprised the chief minister of the decision of President Kovind and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to visit Sultanpur Lodhi on November 12 and 11 respectively. In response, the chief minister suggested that the SGPC stage inside the Gurdwara precincts at Sultanpur Lodhi may be used as the common stage on November 11, with the state government also participating in the celebration there. However, since November 12 would have the President participating in the programme, it was apt for the state government to host the head of the state, in keeping with his status, Amarinder Singh proposed. This, said the chief minister, would help clear the confusion prevailing among the people about the main event, and would also send a positive message of unity among the Sikh community. Longowal assured the chief minister that the SGPC would consider the proposal and revert shortly on the same, said the spokesperson. A few days back, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh had said only the SGPC would set up the main stage to hold religious events at Sultanpur Lodhi during the 550th celebrations. However, he had welcomed a separate stage by the Punjab government at Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala, stressing that it should only be used for spreading the message of the Sikh guru, instead of political speeches. There was a deadlock over the issue of joint celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary. The SGPC has decided to hold the main event at a stadium near Gurdwara Ber Sahib in Sultanpur Lodhi on November 12 while the state government wanted to hold the function at a "tent city" coming up there. PTI CHS VSD RAX RAX

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