Congress party’s Punjab in-charge and former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat today apologised for his ‘Panj Pyare’ remark following a backlash from opposition parties including the Shiromani Akali Dal. Expressing regret, Rawat said that he takes his words back and offers an apology.
“Sometimes to express respect, you use some such words which may hurt others. I too have made a mistake of using the word ‘Panj Pyare’ yesterday for my honourable president and four working presidents. I am a student of history and know that the Panj Pyaras cannot be compared with any other. I have made this mistake, I apologize for hurting people’s sentiments,” said Rawat in a Facebook post.
Rawat said that he will clean a gurudwara in Uttarakhand as repentance. “As atonement, I will sweep a gurudwara in my state. I always have had a sense of dedication and respect for Sikhism and its great traditions. I have taken sweet-ritha of Shri Ritha Saheb located in Champawat district and has given it to many people including the President of the country,” said Rawat to drive home his point.
Rawat claimed that when he became the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, he connected both Gurudwaras – Shri Nanakmatta Saheb and Reetha Saheb, where Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji had visited, with roads and it can be seen today as well.
Speaking to the media yesterday, Rawat had used the ‘Panj Payare’ term for Sidhu and his four working presidents. Speaking about the Punjab polls, Rawat had said that discussions over polls, organizational structure will be geared up as informed by Sidhu. He said that Sidhu is the first PCC chief who held a meeting with all frontal organisations and others to find out problems faced by them.
It may be recalled that the Congress in Punjab has been facing internal turmoil with the party divided into two factions- one with Sidhu and the other with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Rawat has been trying to resolve the differences ahead of next year’s assembly elections.