This Is The Latest Controversy That Congress Walked Into In Punjab
Harish Rawat has apologised after a major hue and cry was raised over his 'Panj Pyare' remark, in Punjab.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Harish Rawat, who has been embroiled in a controversy by describing the Congress leadership in Punjab as 'Panj Pyare', on Wednesday apologised for his remarks that hurt the sentiments of the people.
What Is The Row About?
Rawat, who came to Chandigarh on Tuesday amid a tussle in the state unit of the Congress, had used the word 'Panj Pyare', for the state's Congress chief and four working presidents, which sparked a major furore. After this remark, the opposition parties opened front against Rawat.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had objected to Rawat's remarks and demanded an apology for it. SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema had criticised Rawat for his remarks and demanded that the state government should register a case against him for hurting the sentiments of the people.
Rawat’s Unconditional Apology
Seeing the controversy escalating, Rawat apologised for his statement and said that he would atone for his mistake by cleaning a gurudwara in his state Uttarakhand. He clarified that he did not intend to compare anyone with Panj Pyare.
On Wednesday, on his Facebook page, admitting his mistake, Rawat wrote, "Sometimes to show respect you use such words which can be objectionable. I have also made a mistake by using the word 'Panj Pyare' for our honorable president and four working presidents."
He said that he has been a student of the history of the country and the leadership position of the 'Panj Pyaras' cannot be compared with any other. "I have made this mistake, I apologize for hurting the sentiments of the people," said Rawat, who is presently in charge of Congress' Punjab unit.
The Congress leader further said that he holds the 'Panj Pyare' in high esteem and had always worked for the betterment of the places related to Sikhism in Uttarakhand during his tenure.
‘Panj Pyare’ — A Term Of Reverence
In Sikh tradition, the 'Panj Pyare' address is used for the five beloved of the guru. It is associated with the tenth guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, who founded the Khalsa Panth, and the duly initiated five followers of Sikhism — Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Himmat Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh and Bhai Sahib Singh.
Since then it has been a tradition among the Sikhs that whenever there is any pilgrimage or religious programme of the Sikhs, the ‘Panj Pyare’ lead the proceedings.
Organisational Discussions With Sidhu
On Tuesday, Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat met Navjot Singh Sidhu and working presidents at Punjab Congress Bhawan. The leaders discussed the expansion of the organisation prior to the elections.
Rawat said that everyone will be assigned work according to their merit to ensure the party’s victory in the elections. Soon committees will be formed for this. He said that Sidhu has assured that work on the organisation’s structure will start within the coming 15 days.
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