A delegation of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today urged the Centre to place Rs 100 crore — earmarked for the 350th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh — at the Punjab Government’s disposal.
During a meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the Akali leaders questioned the Centre’s move to distribute the funds among various states. The delegation comprised SAD MPs Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Prem Singh Chandumajra and Balwinder Singh Bhunder, and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjit Singh GK.
The Akali leaders told Rajnath that the Punjab Government was the nodal authority which was making all arrangements for the celebrations in collaboration with the Bihar Government.
When asked about this claim, Chandumajra told The Tribune that the ‘nodal’ status had not been granted by the Centre.
He said the delegation told Rajnath that the Guru’s birthplace at Patna Sahib was located in a congested area. The delegation demanded the construction of an elevated road to provide easy access to the pilgrims.
The delegation also sought the setting up of a chair at Punjabi University, Patiala, in memory of the Guru. Chandumajra claimed that the Home Minster assured them of giving a sympathetic consideration to the demands. He also promised to hold another round of talks with the Akali leaders.
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