Corridor opening remains apolitical - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Corridor opening remains apolitical

Corridor opening remains apolitical

Ravi Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Dera Baba Nanak, November 10

Political scripts purportedly written by the leaders of various parties ahead of the corridor’s inaugural ceremony went for a toss as the festivities remained apolitical in nature giving a jolt to those satraps who wanted to derive mileage out of what was primarily a religious event.

Posturing by leaders in the last fortnight had threatened to give political contours to the otherwise pious occasion. The politically volatile situation that was developing was finally diffused when the Congress decided to call off its part of the festivities barely hours before the Prime Minister was to arrive. The Centre’s last minute decision to ask the jathedar of the Akal Takht to lead to the first-ever group of devotees across the border also blunted the political edge to a great extent.

The Congress had been claiming that Capt Amarinder Singh would be the head of the group while Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal wanted Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu to lead. The aspirations of both the parties evaporated into thin air when Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, backed by the Centre, stepped into contention. This was seen as a minor victoryfor Harsimrat because sheis a part of the BJP-led dispensation at the Centre.

Cabinet Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who was incharge of the Congress stage by the virtue of being the local MLA, said the Punjab Government steadfastly refrained from giving a political tinge to the ceremony.

Observers had feared that if the Congress had not decided to call off its rally, two separate events, one presided over by the PM and the other by the CM, would have been held simultaneously.

“This development could have sparked off a political catastrophe. This was precisely the reason why the CM passed instructions to cancel the rally. Two separate stages had the potential to spell doom and the sanctity of the scared occasion would have been shredded to ribbons,” said a minister.

Ahead of the inauguration, discussions veered around Harsimrat’s statement that “people who were claiming that the passage would be used by Pakistan to push in its separatist agenda did not follow Guru Nanak’s teachings”. This was an oblique reference to Capt Amarinder, who for long has been saying that Pakistan was playing to a “hidden agenda” by conceptualising the passage.

Meanwhile, European Parliament MP Neena Gill was also the part of the jatha.

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