Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clear the state government’s proposal for projects worth ₹937 crore, including the development of Sri Anandpur Sahib as a smart city, to pay tribute to Guru Tegh Bahadur on his 400th Prakash Purab (birth anniversary) this year.
Participating virtually in the national committee meeting, convened by the Prime Minister to finalise plans for the celebrations, the chief minister said, “We are all fortunate to celebrate this event in our lifetimes and I urge Modi ji to ensure that this historic event is commemorated not only at the national but also at the global level.” He said Guru Tegh Bahadur, also known as Hind Di Chadar, stands as a shining symbol of our country’s pluralistic tradition and secularism, and his supreme sacrifice, “Sis diya par sirr na diya”, forms an important part of India’s history.
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Infra at Baba Bakala, 78 villages to be upgraded
Briefing the Prime Minister on the memorandum sent to the Centre, Captain Amarinder said his government plans to recognise towns and villages associated with the life of the Guru in the state by upgrading their infrastructure. Besides Amritsar, the town of Sri Anandpur Sahib and Baba Bakala are significant in this regard. In addition, he said that there are 78 villages in the state graced by the Guru.
The proposal sent by the state government includes projects for developing infrastructure in and around Sri Anandpur Sahib, Amritsar and Baba Bakala; rejuvenation of village ponds and traditional water bodies for water conservation in 78 Punjab villages that were visited by the Guru; and setting up Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur School of Textile Technology and Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Handicrafts at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and Sathiala, Baba Bakala, respectively.
May 1 event with Covid protocol in place
The chief minister urged the Centre to release a stamp on the occasion besides commemorative events across the country and at all Indian missions abroad to carry the message of Guru Tegh Bahadur’s life.
He said the main programme on May 1 is being finalised keeping in mind the Covid situation particularly in Punjab.
The chief minister thanked Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah for making elaborate plans for celebrations of this historic event across the country. “I’m grateful to you for giving such prominence to this event, as normally it is left to the state or communities to manage such celebrations,” he said, while appreciating Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s assurance of organising befitting celebrations in his state, too.
Besides Modi and Shah, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Union defence minister Rajnath Singh and Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge also participated in the virtual meeting.
The high-level national committee, comprising 70 members with Modi as chairman, was constituted by the Centre on October 24 last year.