India Cong & SAD Slug It Out At Jor Mela


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
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Cong & SAD slug it out at Jor Mela
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, Dec 27
Despite the appeal from the Akal Takht to desist from using religious ‘melas’ for politics and ‘mudslinging’, all political parties today exercised their vocal chords to run down others. The temptation to address the large number of devotees, estimated to have run into several lakhs, at the Jor Mela turned out to be hard to resist.

The winter heralds the season of ‘melas’ in Punjab and “Jor mela” will be followed by the “Maghi mela” in January at Muktsar and the Baisakhi mela at Talwandi Sabo in April. A number of smaller fairs will be held in the intervening period. “No one would like to fritter away the chance to address a captive audience”, exclaimed a visitor.

While SAD predictably targeted the PCC president Captain Amarinder Singh, the Congress rally appeared to be the more aggressive of the two. In a no holds-barred attack on the Badals and SAD, Bhattals called Akalis “Golak chor” ( claiming they misused funds of Gurudwaras) and declared that the senior Badal was driving a “Chakkara”, which would roughly translate into a condemned vehicle that is going nowhere.

Captain Amrinder Singh accused the Badals of monopolising and cornering the transport business, the liquor business, sand mining and the cable TV networks in the state. “ As Badals are getting richer, Punjab is getting poorer”, he asserted.

The two main political parties claimed it is their right to speak against ‘injustice’. “ We cannot forget the lessons of Guru Govind Singh,” said Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, “ and keep quiet against the Centre’s unjust treatment”. It is a duty that the Shiromani Akali Dal has, he added. The CLP leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal could not agree more. She advised the SGPC to stop the misuse of religion and Gurudwaras for political ends and initiate measures to rein in corruption in the management of Gurudwaras. (With inputs by Gurdeep Mann)

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