In poll time, politicians make beeline to Golden Temple

April 5th, 2009 - 1:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Amritsar, April 5 (IANS) As the poll temperature rises over Punjab, politicians of all hues are seeking benediction at the Golden Temple before embarking on their campaign.
Right from the country’s first Sikh Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Punjab’s Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and many more, politicians are lining up to seek blessings at the Harmandar Sahib, the holiest of Sikh shrines.

But the more high profile visit was that of his son Sukhbir Badal, who is the ruling Akali Dal president and Punjab’s deputy chief minister, and his wife Harsimrat Badal.

Harsimrat has been named the Akali Dal candidate for the Bathinda Lok Sabha seat in the biggest showdown of two leading political clans in Punjab.

She faces Raninder Singh, son of former Congress Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and the 13th descendant of the erstwhile royal family of Patiala.

Raninder too arrived here to pray at the shrine this week before embarking on a full-fledged campaign for the Bathinda seat.

“Top political leaders do come here to seek blessings, especially before a crucial election,” Kanwarpal Singh, leader of radical Sikh group Dal Khalsa, told IANS.

Among other high-profile visits in recent months was that of Rahul Gandhi. He arrived here virtually unannounced early one morning last September and sat listening to hymns inside the sanctum sanctorum for some time. Even security officials and local Congress leaders had no inkling of his visit.

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