Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Thursday (October 3) former prime minister Manmohan Singh had agreed to join the first all-party “jatha” (delegation) to the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara to join the mega event after the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor.
He said this after meeting with the former prime minister here. The Punjab chief minister also invited President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, including the historic opening of the Kartarpur Corridor.
In separate meetings with the president and the prime minister here, he urged them to join the mega celebrations to mark the auspicious occasion.
Singh told mediapersons that both Kovind and Modi had accepted the Punjab government’s invitation to be part of the historic celebrations and that the modalities of their visits would be chalked out after the Kartarpur Corridor opening programme was finalised with Pakistan.
An official spokesperson said the details of the events were shared with the president, prime minister and they were requested by the chief minister to attend the programmes as per their convenience.
However, he added that the chief minister had particularly urged them both to take part in the Kartarpur Corridor opening at Dera Baba Nanak and the main programme at Sultanpur Lodhi on November 12.
“Former PM Manmohan Singh accepts Captain Amarinder Singh’s invite to join 1st Jatha to Sri Kartarpur Gurdwara on Nov 9, will also attend Sultanpur Lodhi main event,” media adviser to the Punjab chief minister Raveen Thukral said in a tweet.
During his meeting with the prime minister, Singh also urged for his personal intervention to facilitate the political clearance for allowing the special all-party ‘jatha’ to visit Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, the birth place of the first Sikh guru, on the historic occasion.
He requested that a group of 21 persons may be allowed to visit Nankana Sahib to organise a ‘path’ (reading of religious scriptures) on the occasion of the 550th Prakash Purb from October 30 to November 3 and bring a “Nagar Kirtan” to Sultanpur Lodhi via Amritsar (Wagah) later in the day.
The ‘Nagar Kirtan’ will arrive at Sultanpur Lodhi in Punjabs Kapurthala district on November 4. The chief minister has also written to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, seeking a formal clearance for the Nankana Sahib delegation visit and the “Nagar Kirtan” to be brought from Pakistan to Punjab, according to an official spokesperson.
Giving details of the key events planned by the state government from November 5 to November 15 in connection with the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, the chief minister said the flag-off ceremony will be preceded by a brief public meeting of devotees at Dera Baba Nanak.
Further, in line with past practice, the Punjab government proposed to organise an all-party meeting from 11 am to 2 pm on November 1 at Sultanpur Lodhi, he added.
The complete logistics and security arrangements for this meeting of pilgrims were being made by the state government, Singh told the prime minister and the president, extending a warm invitation on behalf of his government to them to make this a memorable experience for one and all.