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Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today directed the tourism department undertake the arrangements for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Sikh Guru Nanak Dev on a war footing. Opposition leaders and the SGPC president, however, did not turn up for the first meeting of the organising committee. The department had sent special invites to SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, MPs Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Naresh Gujral, SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal, state BJP unit chief Vijay Sampla and AAP MP Bhagwant Mann, an official release said. However, they did not attend the first review meeting of the organising committee, which had been convened to chalk out the detailed programme of the celebrations of the 550th 'Parkash Purab' of the first Sikh Guru, it said. Tourism and Culture minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said it was unfortunate that the opposition chose to politicise such an important religious occasion by boycotting the meeting. Guru Nanak Dev's 550th birth anniversary is an occasion that requires all parties to rise above their political considerations, he said. MLA Dera Baba Nanak Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said that by abstaining from the meeting, the opposition leaders had sought to undermine the ideology of Guru Nanak Dev, who propagated the message of love and communal harmony. The chief minister, however, urged the department to continue to work with all political parties to ensure that the event is a huge success, as it was of importance for Punjab and its people. He appealed to all opposition members to cooperate with the government for the event and asked Sidhu to connect with opposition leaders in this regard. The meeting also authorised the tourism minister to set up a sub-committee to look into different aspects of the celebrations and submit its report at the earliest. The chief minister said that with just about 18 months to go for the event, the work needs to be taken up on war footing. No stone should be left unturned to ensure the success of this pious event, which we were fortunate to be celebrating in our life time, he said. The meeting was attended by scholars, philosophers and dignitaries. The chief Minister asked them to submit their proposals and suggestions to the tourism department to enable the state government to finalise the modalities for the event.