Jalandhar bypoll: Punjab CM slams SGPC chief for campaigning in favour of SAD-BSP candidate

CHANDIGARH, Apr 30: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Sunday slammed the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president for campaigning in favour of the SAD-BSP candidate for the upcoming Jalandhar Lok Sabha bypoll.
The bypoll is scheduled to be held on May 10 and counting of votes will take place on May 13.
Mann asked how far it was justified that Harjinder Singh Dhami, the president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, an apex gurdwara body, campaigned for the SAD.
Dhami, along with the Shiromani Akali Dal leaders and Bahujan Samaj Party leaders, campaigned in favour of their candidate Sukhwinder Kumar Sukhi in Adampur in Jalandhar.
Mann, in a tweet in Punjabi, said, “A political party which is accused of desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib…how far is it justified to campaign in favour of that party? Is it not playing with the religious sentiments of people?”
He was apparently referring to the incidents related to the theft of a ‘bir’ (copy) of the Guru Granth Sahib, putting up handwritten sacrilegious posters, and torn pages of the holy book being found scattered in Bargari village of Faridkot during the SAD-BJP rule in the state in 2015.
The bypoll was necessitated due to the death of Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary in January.
The bypoll is going to be a litmus test for the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the state, which will be eyeing a win after it lost the Sangrur LS byelection last year.
As for the Congress, the prestige is at stake for the main opposition party, which would like to retain the seat. Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiromani Akali Dal, too, will look for a win to boost their fortunes ahead of next year’s general elections. (PTI)