IN AN embarrassment to Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal and the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, an ardasiya (prayer reciter) refused to give a siropa to the party patriarch inside the sanctum sanctorum of Golden Temple Friday.
Ardasiyas are similar to priests, and are employees of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
Ardasiya Balbir Singh said he refused the siropa to Badal due to “government inaction” in cases of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib last year. “There were a number of incidents in which Guru Granth Sahib was disrespected, but no action was taken by the government… On the same grounds, I had refused siropa to (Deputy CM) Sukhbir Badal on January 20,” Singh told The Indian Express.
SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said: “Not offering him siropa is unfortunate. We will seek an explanation from the ardasiya and take action.”
Senior SAD leader Virsa Singh Valtoha suggested that the ardasiya did not offer the siropa for personal gain from anti-Badal sections of Punjabi diaspora.
“In the past, many received dollars by indulging in such acts. This is all a game of dollars,” said Valtoha.