AMRITSAR SAHIB, Punjab—Former Punjab Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal is in hot water for visiting the Sirsa cult ahead of the Assembly elections last year. SGPC appointed Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh has said that Bhattal should remain ready to face stern action if she fails to tender an apology for.
“Like other political leaders, Bhattal too would have to abide by the Akal Takht’s directions for the atonement of her fault,” he said in a press statement. Meanwhile, a poll being conducted by Sikh24 on Twitter is asking whether Giani Gurbachan Singh should also issue summons to former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal for also visiting Dera Sacha Sauda.
Along with Congress leaders who are being summoned, should Akal Takht Jathedar question Parkash Badal and his son for also visiting Dera Sacha Sauda? https://t.co/Dr7n8PD6NG
— Sikh24 News (@Sikh24) March 12, 2018
A number of Congress and Akali Dal leaders have already been summoned to explain why they visited Sacha Sauda dera last year. Rajinder Bhattal had excused of ill physique for not appearing before Sri Akal Takht Sahib when all the political leaders were addressed punishment on April 17 last year. Around 10 Congress leaders underwent the punishment but Bhattal and Arjun Badal (son of Finance Minister Manpreet Badal) had not appeared before Sri Akal Takht Sahib. Arjun Badal had excused of absence in Punjab as he was studying abroad.
Interestingly, Bhattal was spotted in Amritsar Sahib on March 7 while participating in the bhog ceremony of former Cabinet minister Sardool Singh Bandala along with her colleagues.
On being contacted by media, Bhattal said that she belonged to a secular party like Congress whose ideology was to distance itself from any religious front. “My colleagues went to serve as per the Akal Takht direction in their individual capacity. I could not appear before the Takht as I was unwell then. I have not decided whether I would go to Akal Takht or not. I bow my head before the supreme temporal seat of Sikhs, but the order in question is a political one,” she added.
On being informed of Bhattal’s justification by media, Giani Gurbachan Singh said, “Whatever justification Bhattal had with her, she should submit it in written at Sri Akal Takht Sahib as soon as possible. If she fails to comply, she should be ready to face action as per the Sikh principles. Same goes for Arjun.”