Mann convenes all 'panthic' party meet tomorrow at Amritsar
Ludhiana, July 3 (UNI) Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann has convened an ''all Panthic (religious) party meeting'' at Amritsar tomorrow to discuss the Akal Takht directive against him.
''We will discuss the whole issue and expose Parkash Singh Badal of his anti-panthic activities at the meeting which will be attended by various panthic groups and political parties,'' Mr Mann told reporters here.
Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vidanti had yesterday issued a directive to the Sikh community for a boycott of Mr Mann following a clash between the supporters of his party and those of the Badal-led Shiromani Akali Dal at the Akal Takht during a congregation held to mark the 400th foundation day celebration of the Akal Takht.
''The Akal Takht Jathedar has given a directive against me at the instance of Mr Badal,'' Mr Mann told reporters.
''When I was invited at the convention I should have been given an equal opportunity to address the community,'' Mr Mann here said, blaming Mr Badal and his men for the clash.
Mr Mann said he and other 'panthic' leaders would expose the ''anti-panthic activities of Mr Badal'' at tomorrow's convention.
Meanwhile, Mr Mann's supporters today held a demonstration to protest the issuance of the directive by the Akal Takht Jathedar against their leader and also raised anti-Badal slogans.
In Amritsar, the All India Sikh Students Federation activists and the supporters of Mr Badal raised slogan against Mr Mann at the Hall Gate.
The Ravi Inder faction of the Akali Dal today issued a statement in which the party's general secretaries Manmohan Singh Sathiala and Darshan Singh Isapur criticised Mr Badal of ''being partial and biased against Mr Mann. ''Mr Mann should have been given an opportunity to address the congregation,'' the stated.
''Why the verdict is only against Mr Mann, if Mr Badal's men were also involved in the clash,'' they added.
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