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Focus on Majithia CD at Maghi Mela
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, January 12
The sun is shining bright on Muktsar much to the relief of devotees who would take a holy dip in the sarovar of the historic gurdwara as well as political parties making last-minute preparations for customary rallies at Sunday’s Maghi Mela.

Politicians have timed their political rallies around afternoon and are hopeful of a large turnout at the mela held to honour the memory of the 40 Sikh warriors killed during the Battle of Muktsar in 1705 against the Mughals.

The Akalis are all charged up and upbeat that their four-acre tent on Malout road will be chock-a-bloc with supporters. That’s not asking for much, given that the party returned to power for the second time only recently and that the entire government machinery has been working day and night to make the rally a success.

The venue of the Congress rally near the gurdwara is a mere one acre and six kanal, but the heat is palpable. The big question: Will the Congress be able to screen the controversial VCD that shows Public Relations Minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia abusing a Congress MLA during the recently concluded winter session of the Assembly?

Unlike the Akali camp where all, including mediapersons, will have to squat on the ground, the Congress has put up chairs for the public.

The Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee (PPCC) is not backing out of its plan to play the VCD, but conceded it would be tough to fulfill the promise of “exposing” the Akalis to the public. Even as the Punjab Legislative Assembly Speaker had expunged Majithia’s remarks and the Muktsar district administration had denied permission to screen the VCD, the Congress leadership is determined to do so.

“We don’t need permission to play the VCD. We will play it. We have arranged for TVs and LCDs as no one was willing to rent the equipment to us due to the fear of Akalis,” said Gidderbaha MLA Raja Warring, who is supervising arrangements for the Congress.

He clarified that it was not illegal to screen the VCD. “It has already been shown on TV channels and is available of YouTube. No one can stop us,” he said, adding that the party leadership had made alternate arrangements for the screening. “We expect rough weather tomorrow. We will distribute copies of the VCD if they use force against its screening,” said Warring.

The Congress alleged that it had not been allocated parking facility near the rally venue and that the administration was threatening transporters to not provide it buses and trucks on hire.

Meanwhile, the venue of the Manpreet Badal-led People’s Political Party (PPP) rally on Bathinda Road is symbolically and virtually almost out of town. It is nearly two kilometres away from the other rally venues and the historic gurdwara. Those planning to attend his rallies will have to cross the town to do so. Political observers feel if he still manages a substantial gathering, he could use the platform to bounce back on the state’s political stage.

Congress to screen clip today

  • The controversial VCD that shows PR Minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia (in pic) abusing a Congress MLA during the recently concluded winter session of the Assembly
  • The Muktsar administration had denied permission for public screening of any CD during political rallies at the mela
  • The Congress says it does not need permission to screen the VCD and would go ahead with its plan to “expose” the Akalis.





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