Seeking to politically outdo each other in Punjab, the ruling Congress and the opposition Akali Dal are making every effort to make their public rallies on Sunday a show of their strength. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will hold a rally in Killian Wali in Lambi in Muktsar district, SAD patriarch Parkash Singh Badal's bastion while the Shiromani Akali Dal will organise a rally in Patiala, the constituency of the scion of the erstwhile Patiala royal family.
Accusing the SAD of exploiting the religious sentiments of people, the Congress said it wants to "expose the dubious and hypocritical face" of Akali leaders through the rally in Lambi.
"We all are geared up for a grand rally tomorrow in Lambi. We will expose the misdeeds of the Badals against the Panth (Sikh community) and how they damaged the authority of religious institutions," Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said Saturday.
The Congress has deputed several cabinet ministers, including Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Manpreet Singh Badal and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, to make the rally a success. The SAD, too, appeared confident of showing their strength through the rally in Patiala.
"We are going to have a very big rally in Patiala and all arrangements have been made," SAD spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said. He, however, alleged that the state machinery was being misused to prevent people from participating in the rally.
The Akali Dal, which has been passing through a rough patch after the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report on incidents of sacrilege, was made public. Akali stalwart and former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has been holding meetings with party workers to make the rally a success.
The SAD leadership has been under attack from the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party since the report was made public.
Justice (Retd) Ranjit Singh Commission was set up by the Congress government in April 2017 to investigate the incidents of sacrilege of religious texts. It dealt with the incidents in Burj Jawahar Singh Wala and Bargari, and firing incidents at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan in 2015.
The resignation of senior Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa from the post of secretary general and the core committee also came as a setback to the SAD.
Meanwhile, the AAP led by Sukhpal Khaira will organise a protest march on Sunday from Kotkapura to Bargari in Faridkot district. They have been demanding action against those responsible for the police firing and sacrilege incidents in 2015.