Badal holds prayers at Golden Temple for PM’s health

January 26th, 2009 - 7:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghAmritsar, Jan 26 (IANS) They may belong to completely different political ideologies and camps, but that did not stop Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal from conducting an uninterrupted recitation - Akhand Path - of the Sikh holy book at the holiest of Sikh shrines, the Golden Temple, Monday for the speedy recovery of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.Manmohan Singh not only hails from this city, where his family settled after India’s partition in August 1947, but is the first Sikh prime minister, the dominant community of progressive Punjab.

The continuous recitation from the Sikh holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, was started for “the speedy recovery, sound health and long life of Dr. Manmohan Singh”, an aide of Badal said Monday.

“Dr. Manmohan Singh was born and lived in the holy city of Sri Amritsar Sahib. Therefore, from the soil of this holy place, I pray to the Almighty on behalf of all Punjabis that Dr. Singh may recover quickly to resume charge of leadership of the nation. All Punjabis should join me in this Ardas (prayer),” Badal, 83, said while touching an emotional cord with the gathering of the Republic Day function at the Guru Nanak Stadium here.

The prime minister is recovering at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi after undergoing a marathon bypass surgery Saturday. He could not participate in the Republic Day celebrations at New Delhi’s Rajpath following the surgery.

“Badal had been praying for the successful bypass surgery and speedy recovery of the prime minister every morning. The starting of the Akhand Path coincided with the 60th Republic Day of the country,” Badal’s media adviser Harcharan Bains said.

In his address after unfurling the national flag here, Badal called for the setting up of a “genuinely federal system” of governance, describing it as the only guarantee to ensure unity, integrity, development and prosperity of the country. He said the “remote control approach to governance” has failed the system.

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