The ruling Congress Monday justified not holding the political conference at Maghi Mela in Muktsar saying the occasion was meant to remember the sacrifices made by the martyrs. ”We have decided to abide by the Akal Takht’s appeal to not organise political conferences at the religious melas where sacrifices of martyrs are remembered. Those who are organising political conferences are the ones who don’t pay heed to the Akal Takht’s appeals,” Cabinet ministers Sukhbinder Sarkaria and Tripat Rajinder Bajwa said.
The Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal was the first to announce a mega political conference at the Maghi Mela followed by SAD (Amritsar).
The SAD leaders, however, justified their conference with party legislator Rozy Barkandi saying that “the martrydom of 40 muktas took place in May”. “That day is remembered in May. Maghi was chosen (to remember the martyrs) about 100 years ago looking into the weather conditions and the water shortage (in summer months),” Barkandi said.
Party’s Rajya Sabha member Balwinder Singh Bhunder said,”If we don’t organise political conferences, than how will we remember the martyrs and how will we tell the new generation about their supreme sacrifice”.
SAD president Sukhbir Badal and party patron Parkash Singh Badal, however, did not speak on the issue in their political speeches. Meanwhile, the Congress ministers accompanied by Assembly deputy Speaker Ajiab Singh Bhatti offered prayers at Gurdwara Tutti Gandi Sahib. Talking about reservation for women in panchayats, Bajwa said, “We implemented 50 per cent reservation for women in the panchayat polls. Now, we will implement a similar decision for the posts of chairpersons as well.”
Punjabi Ekta Party
Sukhpal Khaira, the president of the newly formed Punjabi Ekta Party (PEP), also paid obeisance at Tutti Gandi Gurdwara. Talking to reporters, Khaira said his party’s focus was to give an alternative to people in Punjab. Simarjeet Bains of Lok Insaaf Party (LIP), an ally of the PEP, separately offered prayers at the gurdwara. Both Khaira and Bains said that they were in touch with like-minded parties for an alliance.