FORMER DEPUTY Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Bir Devinder Singh, has demanded that the Punjab government should not hold panchayat elections in the state in the last week of December this year in view of the solemn observation of the martyrdom of the four Sahibzadas (Four Sons) of Guru Gobind Singh during this period.
In a statement issued Thursday, Bir Devinder Singh said millions of Sikh devotees visit Fatehgarh Sahib (Sirhind) and Chamkaur Sahib in Ropar to pay obeisance to the martyrs. “This week is observed by the Sikh community with deep deference as ‘Shaheedi Hafta’ (martyrdom week) in a highly temperate manner, which require an unpolluted atmosphere. If Panchayat elections are conducted in this particular week, it will contaminate the entire atmosphere.
Free distribution of liquor and intoxicants by the contesting candidates is bound to vitiate the ambience and sobriety of the solemn observance of the martyrdom of the Char Sahibzadas,” he said.
He added that rural Punjab would be in the grip of extreme tension because of pressures applied by diverse influences having allegiance to political parties.