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Punjab Congress chief and Gurdaspur MP Sunil Jakhar today accused the SAD of misusing the 'panth' (community) to "score political gains" by organising conferences in religious congregations. The comment came after the SAD announced that it would hold political conferences in Jor Melas, religious congregations in Punjab, despite the Akal Takht's call not to hold any such meetings. He said that the Congress had in-principle followed the directions of the Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs, to avoid holding political conferences during the melas. The party believes in allowing devotees concentrate on paying reverence at holy places.
The decision to not organise a conference at Muktsar's Maghi Mela was a part of the revised policy adopted after the Takht's directions, Jakhar said. "We are against vitiating the spiritual environment at holy places," he said in release here, adding that the SAD had got no moral right to cry hoarse against others during the political conference in Muktsar. "Why Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Badal who belong to Muktsar district do nothing to make the holy city beautiful during their 10-year in government," the Congress leader asked. Recalling that Congress government had upgraded Muktsar as district in 1995, Jakhar said that the historic gates were erected in the city during the tenure of Amarinder Singh as chief minister in 2002-2007. "The SAD is only now to exploit feelings of people on the garb of religion, they do not care for religion and tenets," Jakhar said. The Congress-led government had also erected a memorial Mukt-e-Minar to pay respects to the 40 Muktas, he said, alleging that later that SAD government completely "ignored" Muktsar despite it being the Badals home district.
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