Congress, Akali Dal not to hold political conferences at Jor Mela
(5 months ago)
Chandigarh, Dec 22 : For the first time, the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal have decided against organising political conferences during the Saheedi Jor Mela held at the Sikh holy town of Fatehgarh Sahib, around 50 km from here.
Party spokespersons of the ruling Congress and the Akali Dal said on Friday that the decision to scrap the political conferences was taken to respect the sentiments of people coming to the annual congregation.
The Mela is being held this time from December 25 to 27.
"Respecting the sentiments of the people and keeping in view the sanctity of the occasion, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee has decided against holding any political conference during the Shaheedi Jor Mela at Fatehgarh Sahib," a Congress spokesperson said.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had discussed the matter with Punjab Congress President Sunil Jakhar on Thursday.
The Mela is organised to mark the martyrdom day of Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh, the young sons of 10th Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh, and his mother Mata Gujari who were killed at the behest of the Mughal rulers.
"The occasion should be observed with utmost reverence. It is a solemn occasion that should not be used by vested interests as a platform to gain political mileage. People of Punjab felt that it was increasingly becoming a forum for political parties to score brownie points," Amarinder said in a statement.
The Shaheedi Jor Mela in Fatehgarh Sahib is observed to eulogize the supreme sacrifice of the sons and mother of the 10th Guru.
Amarinder and Jakhar appealed to the people, especially political leaders, to offer their tributes to the great martyrs as humble devotees at the Gurdwara Sri Fatehgarh Sahib instead of holding political conferences.
"We appeal to the conscience of all political parties to refrain from holding political conferences on this solemn occasion," Jakhar said.
Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal has also announced that the party has cancelled its annual conference to be held on December 26 during the Mela.
Badal said that the step has been taken following an advisory issued by Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikh religion.
He said that political conferences were being organised by the Akali Dal for a number of years in the past.
"Political parties have been ruining the importance of this occasion by indulging in mud-slinging and making it a political battlefield since over the years. It deeply hurts the feelings of Sikh devotees who come pay their respects to the great sacrifices made by the Chote Sahibzadas," Badal said in a statement.