Rajay Deep/Harkirat Singh
The entire Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leadership led by former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and the party president Sukhbir Singh Badal will appear before the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhism to seek forgiveness for the ‘mistakes’ committed by the party and its leaders during the last one decade on Saturday, which happens to the birthday of SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal. Union minister Harsimrat Kaur, party’s general secretary Bikram Singh Majithia and other senior leaders including the members of the core committee, the party MPs and MLAs would also join, besides many other party workers. SAD members of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandik Committee (SGPC) members will also join the party’s leadership at the Akal Takht for seeking pardon. This was confirmed by SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal to the media here on Friday. Normally, a Sikh individual summoned by Akal Takht or who has been ex-communicated from the ‘panth’ by the Takht appears before this seat to seek forgiveness for his ‘mistakes or sins’ that have lowered the dignity of the ‘panth’. However, in this case, the Akali leadership has decided to appear before the Takht on its own and this decision was taken at the core committee meeting of the party held at Chandigarh yesterday. ‘ Ardas’ or a prayer is expected to be recited when the SAD leaders standing below the Takht and in this prayer, they will seek forgiveness for its decisions that may have hurt the Sikh community.
Thereafter ‘Akhand path’ (recitation of Gurbani from the Guru Granth Sahib) will start in a room in the Akal Takht building complex. The ‘bhog’ of the ‘Akhand path’ will take place on Sunday. The Akal Takht Acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh is expected to remain present at the Akal Takht when the Akali leadership comes to seek pardon. Confirming the development, the SAD’s senior leader and former minister Sikander Singh Maluka said: “It is the occasion of Badal Sahib’s birthday. We all will pay obeisance at Golden Temple as well as Akal Takht Sahib.” “As Akali Dal represents Sikh community across the world, we have decided to seek pardon from the Guru Sahib on the occasion for any knowingly or unknowingly committed mistake from us during the past 10 years’ rule in Punjab,” he added. On being asked, if this gesture was aimed at seeking pardon for the sacrilege of holy books during their rule, Maluka said: “It is not specifically for that cause but yes we will also seek pardon for that crime took place in our government, though we put our best to arrest all culprits.” Notably, a few days back the rebel Akali leaders including Ranjit Singh Brahmaputra, Seva Singh Sekhwan and Ratan Singh Ajnala, had also appeared at Akal Takht and sought the pardon in a similar way. They too had said that it was for all knowingly or unknowingly committed mistakes in the Akali rule. They are, anyhow, not the part of Akali Dal now as they have announced to form a separate party.
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