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Posted at: Sep 18, 2019, 7:04 AM; last updated: Sep 18, 2019, 10:24 AM (IST)550TH GURPURB

Govt, SGPC soften stance, may agree on joint event

GS Paul

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 17

A meeting of the coordination panel of the SGPC and the state government for holding joint Gurpurb celebrations at Sultanpur Lodhi held here today. Though, sources say, everything went well, it fell short of any conclusion for the want of Chief Minister’s nod.

Extending “wholehearted” support to each other, both sides claimed that the discrepancies erupted over the venue of the key event on November 12 would be resolved amicably.

Insiders revealed that keeping in view the sanctity of the occasion and avoiding further confrontation, the state government has reportedly stepped down only to agree upon sharing the stage at the venue decided by the SGPC.

The SGPC has already announced to hold the event at Guru Nanak Stadium. Tenders have also been floated for inviting bids to set up stage and allied arrangements at the stadium.

Friction was witnessed after the Capt Amarinder-led state government decided to set up a huge pandal for the occasion behind Gurdwara Ber Sahib.

Sources said the government had hired the same firm that had prepared pandal and tent city at Patna Sahib to mark the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh. Now, this venue could be utilised for another programme, may be some sort of light and sound show.

Cabinet Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who represented the government along with local Congress president Bhagwant Pal Singh Sachar, said the meeting with the SGPC was held on a positive note and some “fresh” developments needed to be discussed with the CM.

Bibi Jagir Kaur and Tota Singh were the SGPC representatives at the meeting. Besides, Nihang organisation head Baba Nihal Singh Hariayan Wela Wale’s representative Baba Naurang Singh was also present.

Without divulging details, Randhawa said they would not allow politicisation of this pious occasion. “We shared details about our events tentatively scheduled for November 12 at Sultanpur Lodhi. Some issues still need to be deliberated again. We may hold another meeting. I’ll convey the proceedings of today’s meeting to the CM and he will take a final call in a day or two,” he said.

SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal said the occasion would be held jointly in coordination with the state government as per the ethos and philosophy of universal brotherhood as propounded by the first Sikh Guru.


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