Shiromani Akali Dal to 'gherao' Punjab Assembly on March 1

President of Shiromani Akali Dal Sukhbir Singh Badal

The Shiromani Akali Dal on Monday said it will "gherao" the Punjab Vidhan Sabha when the Budget session begins on March 1 in protest against the state government for its alleged failure in honouring its poll promises.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) also attacked the BJP-led government at the Centre for denying permission to a "jatha" to visit Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, claiming it as an assault on religious sentiments of Sikhs.

The party on Monday held its core committee meeting led by its chief Sukhbir Singh Badal here.

Harcharn Bains, principal adviser to Badal, said the party described as "an outrageous assault on the religious sentiments of the devout Sikh masses" by the Centre by "blocking" their pilgrimage to Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse at a time when the government itself has been claiming success against it.

"It is clear that the present regime in Delhi is power drunk and has scant respect for the religious sentiments of people, especially of the Sikhs and other minorities in the country," he said in a statement.

"All other travel activity of the government and private citizens is proceeding unaffected by the virus. But the government sees only a Sikh pilgrimage as a health hazard," he added.

A group of pilgrims led by Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh was to travel to Pakistan from February 18 to 25 to mark the centenary of the Nankana Sahib massacre.

However, the Union Home Ministry denied permission to 600 Sikh pilgrims intending to visit gurdwaras in Pakistan, citing the security and COVID-19 situation in that country.

Bains said the SAD will "gherao" the Punjab Vidhan Sabha on the opening day of the Budget session on March 1 "to give voice to the widespread popular resentment against Amarinder Singh's act of breaking his oath of promises made to the people".

The protest will highlight the alleged "illegitimacy of the present regime which was formed by misleading the people of Punjab". he said.

Amaridner had pledged a complete loan waiver of farmers, at least one government job in every family, old-age pension of Rs 2,500 to every senior citizen, free mobile phones to every youth, free education to girls up to PhD levels, said Bains.

The party also slammed the ruling party for winning the recently held civic body polls through "unleashing violence and repression".

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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