Panthic issues likely to dominate Shaheedi Jor Mela rallies

Patiala, Punjab: With parliamentary poll expected anytime in the first half of next year, various political parties in Punjab have been making all-out efforts to woo the electorate.

The forthcoming Shaheedi Jor Mela at Fatehgarh Sahib, scheduled for December 25, 26 and 27, is likely to be a show of strength. Various political conferences are scheduled for the second day.

Analysts say various panthic issues, including the release of Sikh detainees, will dominate the proceedings. The annual fair is organised to mark the martyrdom day of the Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh and lakhs of devotees turn up to pay obeisance at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib and Gurdwara Jyoti Swarup.

A couple of years ago, the Sikh high priests had appealed to politicians not to politicise the occasion but the plea seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

As the ruling SAD-BJP’s Jagraon rally for December 21 had to be cancelled at the eleventh hour, the coalition would now be using Jor Mela to exhort its workers for the Lok Sabha elections. The Jagraon rally was to be addressed by BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. SAD leaders are leaving no stone unturned to make the conference a success. SAD spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said elaborate preparations had been made for the event. “We will focus on issues concerning the Sikhs, including the Operation Bluestar and justice to the victims of the 1984 riots,” he said, assuring that the Akali Dal would abstain from political mudslinging.

The opposition Congress too wants to make the most of the occasion, though its primary focus, said sources, would be on bringing all its leaders on a common platform. The Congress claims to have shot off invites to the entire state leadership.

Partap Singh Bajwa, PPCC president, said: “We have sent invites to all our leaders. We expect a huge gathering.”

On political speeches during the function, Bajwa said their party never flouted the Akal Takht directives, and that “it was the SAD leadership that always delivered political speeches”. Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Gurmeet Chauhan said 3,000 policemen would be deployed.

Matters taking political hue

  1. The forthcoming Mela at Fatehgarh Sahib scheduled for Dec 25, 26 and 27 is likely to be a show of strength
  2. Analysts say various panthic issues, including the release of Sikh detainees, will dominate the proceedings

Source: The Tribune

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