Parties to shun political

conferences at Jor Mela

Chandigarh, December 22- The Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today announced not to hold political conferences during Shaheedi Jor Mela in Fatehgarh Sahib. The mela, held every year in December-end, commemorates the martyrdom of Guru Gobind Singh’s younger Sahibzade.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had yesterday decided not to organise its conference on the religious occasion.
Earlier today, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh issued directions to all political parties to desist from holding political functions that undermined the Jor Mela’s sanctity. SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal appealed to various parties to abide by the Jathedar’s directions.
The parties’ decision followed a sustained campaign from a section of the Sikh community on social media, where the former were accused of belittling the occasion. Activists of the Guru Satkar Committee also sat on a relay fast in front of a conference venue.
Leading a delegation, former Deputy Speaker Bir Devinder Singh had yesterday submitted a memorandum to the Fatehgarh Sahib Deputy Commissioner, demanding that no permission be granted for such conferences.
In a press release, the Congress said today: “Respecting the sentiments of the people and keeping in view the sanctity of the occasion, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee has decided against holding any political conference during the Shaheedi Jor Mela in Fatehgarh Sahib.”
Fatehgarh Sahib MLA Kuljit Singh Nagra said: “Banning political conferences had been a long-pending demand from various quarters.”
Former Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal said, “Respecting the directions of the SGPC, no political conference will be organised at the Jor Mela.” He said the SGPC was right in noting that the atmosphere of the pious occasion was vitiated due to political mud-slinging.
Bir Devinder thanked the SGPC and political parties for having taken a decision in the interests of the public.



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