Akal Takht to consider Bikram Singh Majithia’s apology; Sikh bodies launch protests

Punjab Minister for Revenue and Public Relations Bikram Singh Majithia has provoked outrage from Sikh clerics after he incorporated the name of Bharatiya Janata Party’s Amritsar Lok Sabha poll candidate Arun Jaitley in a hymn by Guru Gobind Singh .

The clerics have indicated that Mr. Majithia may be summoned to the Akal Takht. In video clips that have gone viral on the Internet, Mr. Majithia is seen exhorting the audience at an election rally to chant a refrain from the hymn “Deh Shiva bar mohe ihai, Shubh karman the kabhu na taro, Na daroo ar siyoo jab jah laroon, Nischai kar apni jeet koroo. (O Lord, give me this boon, May I never ever shirk from doing good deeds, That I shall not fear when I go into combat. And with determination I will be victorious] inserting Mr Jaitley’s name in the final phrase instead of ‘apni’.

. Mr. Majithia on Saturday submitted an apology to the Akal Takht and also released a video, in which he sought, with “folded hands”, the Sikh sangat’s forgiveness. The Akal Takht’s Jathedar, Giani Gurbachan Singh, has said the five “Singh Sahibs” would consider Mr. Majithia’s appeal.

The Congress joined Sikh organisations in expressing outrage and urged the Election Commission to ban Mr. Majithia from campaigning in Amritsar. The party’s Amritsar candidate Amarinder Singh and former State Assembly Deputy Speaker Bir Devender Singh asked the Akal Takht to initiate proceedings against Mr. Majithia.

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