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No conference, but Cong makes its presence felt 

Muktsar, January 14

Even though the state government or the ruling Congress did not organise any public function on the occasion of Maghi today, yet it made the presence felt by especially sending two Cabinet ministers Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria to pay obeisance at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib here. They arrive in in a chopper.

Punjabi Ekta Party chief Sukhpal Khaira and some local AAP leaders also did not hold political conferences and just paid obeisance at the gurdwara. Lok Insaaf Party founder Simarjit Singh Bains, too, had come here on Sunday to participate in a cleanliness drive and paid obeisance at the gurdwara.

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had on January 4 announced that the Congress or state government would not hold any public function during the sacred event to maintain the sanctity of the occasion. He had even appealed to other parties not to hold political conferences. 

Later, however, it was decided to send these two ministers to pay obeisance at the gurdwara. Though PPCC chief Sunil Kumar Jakhar was also expected, yet he did not come.

Both Bajwa and Sarkaria after landing at the helipad made at a school playground, visited the gurdwara, along with Deputy Speaker Ajaib Singh Bhatti, Gidderbaha MLA Amrinder Singh ‘Raja Warring’, former Muktsar MLA Karan Kaur Brar, district Congress president Harcharan Singh Sotha and former district Congress president Gurmeet Singh Khudian.

Thereafter, the ministers visited a private school, launched a website of the district administration “Mera Muktsar, Mera Maan” and interacted with media. Bajwa said, “We abide by the directive of Akal Takht of not to hold political conference on religious occasion, thus did not hold the conference.”

Later, talking to The Tribune over phone in the evening, he said, “I visited Muktsar today as a true Sikh to pay obeisance on the occasion of Maghi. There is no special announcement made on behalf of the state government, but if the DC will write about anything we will sanction that.”

About their visit on a chopper, he said, “There will be no burden on the state exchequer with my visit in a state government’s chopper. Actually, the CM had to come to Muktsar to launch the website linked with the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which I launched today.”

Bajwa said the state government, acting as per the law, would reserve some seats of chairpersons of panchayati raj institutions for women.

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