New Delhi: Shiromani Akali Dal leader Daljeet S Cheema has flayed Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat for his ‘Panj Pyare’ remark and asked the state government to lodge a case agianst the senior Congress leader for hurting sentiments of the Sikh community, giving a new twist to the ongoing factional feud in the state Congress ahead of the next year’s Assembly election.
In a media interaction in Chandigarh, Harish Rawat said. “It was my responsibility to discuss with the PCC chief, his team and our “Panj Pyare” (Navjot Singh Sidhu+ four working presidents). Sidhu has told me that the discussions over polls, organizational structure will be geared up, rest assured, PCC is working.”
Harish Rawat made this comment to boost Punjab Congress chief Navjot Sidhu and four working presidents under him, but the remark has landed him in a controversy.
When Rawat was speaking to reporters, Sidhu stood behind him, smiling. This has infuriated the Akali Dal, which said Rawat has “hurt religious feelings” and demanded an apology from him.
Irked over his remark, SAD leader Cheema told ANI, “I urge Punjab govt to lodge a case against Congress’ Harish Rawat for hurting Sikh sentiments by referring to PCC chief and his team as “Panj Pyare”. He should know that Panj Pyare holds significance in Sikhs, should apologize for his remarks, it’s not funny.”
Meanwhile, reports coming in from Punjab say that Harish Rawat has apologised, saying that he had no intention to hurt the Sikh sentiments and it was wrong on his part to compare the working presidents with Panj Pyare.
Harish Rawat further said that he held the Panj Pyare in high esteem and had worked for the betterment of the places related to Sikhism in Uttarakhand.
Notably, Punjab Congress is witnessing tussle between Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and the newly appointed Congress chief Navjot Sidhu. The issue took a new twist after Rawat made a statement that upcoming Punjab Assembly election would be fought munder the leadership of Amarinder Singh.
Last week, Punjab Congress’ general secretary Pargat Singh questioned AICC state in-charge Harish Rawat and asked who gave him the right to take a big decision about the state.
Pargat Singh reportedly said, “When all the MLAs had met the three-member Kharge Committee constituted by the party high command in Delhi three months ago, it was decided that the Punjab Assembly elections to be held in 2022 would be fought under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.”
Pargat Singh`s statement came ahead of Harish Rawat’s scheduled visit to Punjab to meet Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu apparantly to sort out the differences between the two leaders.