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SGPC a tool in Aklais' hands, Harsimrat Kaul an 'an ill-informed woman': Punjab CM

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: September 16, 2019  | 16:32 IST

Chandigarh, Sep 16 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarimnder Singh on Monday yet again dubbed Union Minitser Harsimrat Kaur Badal as "an ill-informed woman" and asked her to "stop exploiting" the issue of 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev for “petty political gains". The chief minister also described the SGPC as “a tool” in the hands of the Shiromani Akali Dal and alleged that Badal was “going all out to drive a deeper wedge” between the government and the religious body. The Punjab CM reiterated his description of Badal as an "ill-informed woman" within a weak after doing so last Tuesday in reaction to her allegation a day earlier that the government was playing politics over the the Sikh founder's birth day celebration. The chief minister on Monday made the counter allegation after Badal reiterated her allegation that the state government was playing politics over the issue and was trying to “weaken” the religion's highest temporal seat Akal Takht. The Union minister earlier had also taken exception to the state government's insistence to holding separate function at a "tent city" in Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala on November 12 to mark the occasion, while the SGPC has decided to hold the main event in a stadium near Gurdwara Ber Sahib there. The chief minister on Monday, in a statement, again dubbed the minister as an ill-informed woman" saying she was making "repeated attempts" to “malign” his government with “baseless” accusations" as the “brazen lies” of “an ill-informed woman". He said she was trying to “reduce the sacred occasion into a disgraceful saga of fibs and fabrications”.  “Instead of asking the SGPC, which was a tool in the hands of her Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) to extend support to the state-level function, Harimsrat Kaur was going all out to drive a deeper wedge between the government and the religious body,” alleged Singh.  Lambasting Harsimrat over her “divisive and provocative” statements, Amarinder said the Akali leader's comments over the last few days had further exposed the party's “cheap mindset and disruptive” political agenda. For 10 years they (SAD leaders) worked to “destroy” every vestige of Punjab's socio-economic fiber, and are now trying to push the state back into its dark days with their “insensitive and contentious” statements, Singh alleged. “Harsimrat talks of oneness, unity and peace, but her deeds are in complete variance with her comments,” claimed the CM, pointing out that the Akalis had reduced the SGPC into a “political instrument for their short-term gains”.  His government, said the chief minister, had been persistently appealing to all, including the SGPC, to rise above petty differences and celebrate the lifetime event in the spirit of Guru Nanak Dev teachings. This, however, does not suit the “interests” of the Akalis, who are “hell-bent” on spreading “disinformation and disharmony” over the issue, he alleged.  Reiterating his government's total support to the SGPC for the celebrations of the event inside Gurdwara sahibs and properties controlled by the committee, Amarinder once again appealed to the SGPC chief to join hands with his government to "commemorate the grand occasion in a collective spirit of amity and brotherhood, rising above political, social and religious considerations". In his letter to SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal, the CM solicited the SGPC chief's wholehearted support to ensure a befitting celebration for the grand occasion, "in line with the ethos and philosophy of universal brotherhood as propounded by the first Sikh Guru". In continuation of his earlier letter to the SGPC Chief, Amarinder Singh told him that the state government had, on the directives of Akal Takht Sahib's jathedar, already nominated two Cabinet ministers Charanjit Singh Channi and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa for inclusion in the joint commemoration committee. “I had also designated three ministers who had personally met you at your residence on June 29, 2019 to request you on my behalf to come together for this sacred occasion which we all are privileged to witness in our lifetime,” the Chief Minister recalled. Amarinder Singh further mentioned that elaborate programmes had already been finalised by the state government for the main function, which would be held on November  12 at the holy city of Sultanpur Lodhi. PTI CHS VSD RAX RAX

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