Badal Govt’s ‘Pargat Divas’ mega rally to woo Dalits - The New Indian Express

Badal Govt’s ‘Pargat Divas’ mega rally to woo Dalits

Published: 16th October 2013 01:40 AM

Last Updated: 16th October 2013 01:40 AM

With an eye on the Dalit votes, the Parkash Singh Badal-led SAD-BJP Government in Punjab is pressing ahead with plans to celebrate the ‘Pargat Divas’ of Bhagwan Valmiki in the state for the first time.

Apparently, the fact that the Dalits comprise 39 per cent of Punjab’s population prompted the move by the ruling combine.

Sources said the state government has decided to stage a mega rally near Amritsar on Friday, which will take place after the foundation stone laying ceremony of the `115 crore Bhagwan Valmiki shrine. Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Yoga guru Baba Ramdev are among those scheduled to attend the function.

And three public stages are to come up at the venue of the rally. While one will seat the CM, Ramdev and Ravi Shankar, saints and religious leaders, including the Akal Takht Jathedar, leaders of Sant Samaj and Balmiki Samaj and artists will occupy the  The authorities are expecting a turnout of around one lakh people for the rally and over two dozen ‘Langars’ (community kitchen) will provide food to the participants.

The state government has made block reservations at 30 resorts and most of the hotels in Amritsar to provide accommodation to the members of the public and the dignitaries, said sources.

A police official said that nine parking lots had been set up on a sprawling 100 acre campus  for parking the vehicles of the public who turn up for the rally. Besides, a helipad has been readied for the choppers ferrying the VVIPs.

“Around 10,000 police personnel have been deployed on duty for providing security to the rally and for other arrangements as the entire venue will be under CCTV surveillance,” he said.

The rally will be telecast live on TV and also on radio and some four giant LCD screens have been put up at the venue to enable the  audience to see the dignitaries up close .

A  powerful sound system has been arranged  by the PRD for the rally. Besides the adverts in newspapers and hoardings, local FM channels broadcast ads of the rally.

The Chief Minister recently held detailed discussions with the members of the board specially constituted to oversee the celebrations of Pargat Divas.

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