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SGPC to approach Akal Takht if Pb govt fails to send representatives for next meeting

twitter-logoPTI | September 14, 2019 | Updated 19:12 IST

Chandigarh, Sep 14 (PTI) The SGPC on Saturday said if the Punjab government does not send its representative again for the next coordination committee meeting to finalise the Guru Nanak Dev's 550th birth anniversary celebration programme in November, it would broach the issue with the Akal Takht. The apex gurdwara body threatened to approach the Sikhs' highest temporal seat, saying it would be the third time if the state government fails to send its two requisite representatives to the next meeting slated on September 17 in Amritsar. The government's representatives had earlier failed to attend the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee's meetings on August 14 and September 6. “We have written to the chief minister to send their two representatives to attend the next coordination committee meeting on September 17,” SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal said on Saturday. “We will approach the Akal Takht's jathedar for necessary directions if the state government again fails to send its representatives,” Longowal told PTI on Saturday. The Akal Takht jathedar had earlier issued directions to hold the 550th 'Parkash Purb' of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev jointly in a befitting manner, said Longowal. As per the proposal, two members each from the government, the SGPC and a sikh scholar as a neutral member would be drawn into the committee to evolve a broad consensus on this issue.  Slamming Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Longowal accused him of adopting a “stubborn attitude” over the 550th birth anniversary celebrations issue. “We do not know why he (Amarinder Singh) has adopted such a stubborn attitude. On one side he says they will give complete support to the SGPC in holding celebrations and on the other side, he says something else,” alleged Longowal. "Our effort has been to hold the main event jointly on November 12. It is going to be a religious function,” asserted Longowal. Notably, the SGPC has decided to hold the main event in a stadium near Gurdwara Ber Sahib in Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala district on November 12, while the state government wanted to hold the function in “Tent City” coming up there. The SGPC has already invited President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, besides governors and chief ministers of various states and several religious leaders across the country to participate in the event. A war of words has already erupted between the Punjab chief minister and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal over the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Sikhism founder. Harsimrat had accused the Punjab government of playing politics over the event and trying to “weaken” the Sikhs' highest temporal body Akal Takht. Hitting back at Harsimrat Kaur, Amarinder Singh had dubbed her remarks as totally “irresponsible and provocative”. “No true Sikh can ever think of showing disrespect to the prestige of the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs," Singh had said. Amarinder has already said a Group of Ministers (GoM) has already been set up to coordinate with the SGPC to finalise the historic commemorative programme. The Punjab CM earlier said it was not the state government which is showing no interest in holding a joint function, as per the Akal Takht's direction, but it is the SGPC which has been “refusing” to join the state government in celebrating the historic occasion on a common platform. PTI CHS VSD RAX RAX

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