With pilgrims from all over the country arriving in Patna for the 350th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh, called “Prakash Utsav”, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is relieving all-round praise for the grand arrangements for the event.
Former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, who visited the venue on Tuesday, called the Bihar CM “original sardar” and added there could not be better and bigger arrangements than this. With three tent cities including one at Gandhi Maidan, Patna has looked like “mini Punjab” for past one week, he said.
The festival would culminate on Thursday with visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal at Gandhi Maidan where a replica of the Patna Saheb Gurdwara has been made. The state police has made elaborate security arrangements for PM visit at the venue that had seen serious security breach during October 2013 rally by Modi, who was then Gujarat CM. Bihar DGP PK Thakur said: “Besides usual watch towers and heavy deployment of forces, we also have teams of ATS, Patna. Traffic movement would be restricted due to PM’s visit.”
So far, several key politicians have visited the city. AAP leader and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, who also attended ‘Prakash Utsav’, praised Nitish for the grand arrangement and also met the Bihar CM.
Nitish, who has taken this event as an opportunity to boost his national image, said: “We want to ensure that people coming here from other parts of the country should leave Bihar with a good impression.”
A JD (U) leader added: “We cannot deny that it was yet another big opportunity for our CM to prove that Bihar can organise a function of this scale. ‘Prakash Utsav’ also showcases a great model of governance. Hosting about three lakh people at Patna is no mean task.”
Roads from Gandhi Maidan to Patna Sahib and other key roads have been kept clean with deployment of volunteers. Overhead wires have been either removed and have been neatly covered. Besides Gandhi Maidan, Patna Bypass Road and Kangan Ghat have a tent city each.
Speaking about the arrangements, Capt Amarinder said: “I do not think there could have been any better preparations and arrangement than this for a function of this scale in any other part of the country”. He also invited Nitish to campaign in Punjab. The JD (U) leader, however, has not responded to Singh’s invitation.
The Centre too had recently allocated funds for the festival. A senior BJP leader said: “All parties that have a stake in Punjab Assembly elections have come to Patna to encash on religious symbolism”.