M A I N   N E W S

Sonia’s image has grown larger than life, says SGPC
Vedanti announces ‘siropa’ for new PM
Varinder Walia
Tribune news service

Amritsar may 19
The Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, announced to honour the new Prime Minister with a “siropa” after the dramatic turn of events catapulting Dr Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister.

Appreciating his loyalty towards his party (the Congress), the Jathedar told The Tribune that the country had given proof of its secularism with the appointment of Dr Manmohan Singh who belonged to a microscopic minority. He said Sikhs believed in “sarbat da bhala” (welfare of all).

Hailing the step, he said merit, honesty and eminence had been given the rightful recognition. He said this was for the first time that a Sikh had been honoured with the highest executive post of the country after Partition.

He, however, said that being a visionary, Dr Manmohan Singh would help in resolving the long-standing issues of Punjab. He said such coveted posts could be obtained with the blessings of the Almighty only. He hoped that being Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh would be instrumental in the development of this holy city.

Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta and Mr Dilmegh Singh, both secretaries of the SGPC, said the choice had been made by rising above caste, creed or religion.

Mr Calcutta said it was an exalted position that had merited a person of Dr Manmohan Singh’s stature, calibre, competence and sincerity. He added that Dr Manmohan Singh had done the holy city proud.

Mr Calcutta said by giving the top executive post to a person of the minority community, the image of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Congress President, had grown larger than life.

Mr Calcutta, who is also a member of the Political Affairs Committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal, said Mrs Gandhi had taken the wind from the sails of certain senior BJP leaders who had launched a hate campaign against her. He said Mrs Sonia Gandhi had saved the nation by maintaining harmony of the country with the elevation of Dr Manmohan Singh. Such a move on the part of Mrs Gandhi had cut certain BJP leaders to size.

Mr Calcutta said Mrs Gandhi had narrowed down the gap between the Sikh community and the Congress which had strained relations after Operation Bluestar. Such a move would strengthen the roots of the Indian democracy. In a democracy numbers play a role, but this time merit had been counted by the Congress.

Showering praises on the Prime Minister-designate, Mr Calcutta said that he was a man of few words who had full faith in communal harmony.

The Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, Mr Tirlochan Singh, while talking from Delhi, said history of sorts had been created in the world and in democratic traditions wherein a person of a minority community in a country had been made head of the executive. He said the Congress had taken a path-breaking step in upholding the democratic traditions of the country.


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