Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has lashed out at Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat after he made a statement referring to the state Congress chief and four working presidents with ‘Panj Pyare’ of the Sikh community.
SAD leader Daljeet Singh Cheema objected to the statement and sought an apology from the Congress leader, adding that such remarks are not funny as they hurt the religious sentiments of the Sikh community.
“It is very sad and disappointing that the Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat has said that the meeting was chaired with ‘Panj Pyare’. The ‘Panj Pyaras’ are respected and honoured in the Sikh Community. I would request Harish Rawat that is not at all a matter of joke, such remarks hurt the sentiments of the Sikh Community. He should withdraw the statement immediately, and the entire Congress should apologize to the entire Sikh community. A case should be registered against them for hurting the sentiments,” Cheema said in a video message posted on social media.
The SAD leader also accused the Congress party of being anti-Sikh.
“The Congress has always been anti-Sikh and hurting Sikh sentiments. Statements made by Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat should be withdrawn immediately, and the entire Congress should apologize to the entire Sikh community,” Cheema was heard saying in the video.
I urge Punjab govt to lodge a case against Congress' Harish Rawat for hurting Sikh sentiments by referring to PCC chief & his team as "Panj Pyare". He should know that Panj Pyare holds significance in Sikhism, should apologize for his remarks, it's not funny:Daljeet S Cheema, SAD https://t.co/HeWtS8osEv pic.twitter.com/StMLJKDRbY
— ANI (@ANI) August 31, 2021
The controversy erupted after Rawat met Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu, along with the party’s working presidents Pawan Goel, Kuljit Singh Nagra, and state Congress general secretary Pargat Singh.
Rawat later addressed the media and likened Sidhu and the four working presidents as ‘Panj Pyare’.
“It was my responsibility to discuss with the PCC chief, his team and ‘Panj Pyare’ (Navjot Singh Sidhu and 4 working presidents). Sidhu has told me that the discussions over polls, organisational structure will be geared up… Rest assured, PCC is working,” Rawat had told reporters.