Sukhbir Badal baptized at Sikh shrine

September 4th, 2008 - 1:05 am ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Sep 3 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s son and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal Wednesday got himself baptized at the famous Sikh shrine of Takht Keshgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib.The baptism of Badal junior, which was kept a low-key affair by the family and political circles, would mean that he will have to follow strict tenets of the Sikh religion. These include not cutting or trimming hair, staying away from alcoholic drinks, intoxicants and tobacco, reciting daily prayers and wearing all symbols of the religion at all times.

Ever since he took over as Akali Dal president from his father last year, Sukhbir had been under pressure from the party leadership to get baptized. No Akali Dal leader had become party president without being baptized.

The baptism ceremony was conducted by the head priest of the shrine at Anandpur Sahib, 100 km from here, and Badal junior was given amrit or nectar by Panj Piaras - the five holy men. He was then offered a siropa, a traditional sword, to complete the ceremony.

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