The formal approval for the holiday was accorded by newly-appointed lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal.
New Delhi: After the Election Commission declared February 4 as the polling day for the state elections in Punjab, the AAP government on Wednesday declared a holiday on Thursday, the occasion of the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh. The AAP government’s decision to declare the holiday on Thursday is being linked in the political circles as the Aam Aadmi Party’s ploy to woo voters in the neighbouring state.
The formal approval for the holiday was accorded by newly-appointed lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal. The birth anniversary of the 10th Sikh Guru is being celebrated across the country, with special festivities lined up in Patna Sahib where he was born. The Delhi government had recently sent a file to the L-G office, seeking declaration of holiday on the occasion.
“The L-G has approved declaration of holiday on Thursday on the occasion of 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singhji,” an official said. Since he took charge, it is perhaps the first proposal of the Delhi government that Mr Baijal’s office has approved.
Earlier this week, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had gone to Patna to pay obeisance at Takht Harm-andir Sahib.
Mr Kejriwal’s Patna visit during “Prakash Parv” assumed significance as his party is eyeing to do well in the Punjab Assembly election.
Even the offices of the three BJP-ruled municipal corporations in Delhi will be closed on Thursday on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh. “North and East Corporations’ offices and associated offices will be closed on Thursday on the occasion of the 350th birth anniversary of Shri Guru Gobind Singh,” a senior civic official said.
South Delhi mayor Shyam Sharma said that “SDMC offices and associated offices will be closed on Thursday on the occasion”.
During the day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had made it clear that his party had no objection to Punjab and Goa going to the Assembly elections on the same day, February 4. The AAP which is also contesting Assembly polls in Gujarat is trying to shed the regional party tag and emerge as an alternative to both Congress and BJP.
Mr Kejriwal said the people were waiting for the announcement of the polling schedule for a long time to bring AAP to power in the two states. In Chandigarh, he told reporters : “Now people will openly support and work for the AAP in Punjab and Goa. We don’t mind even if elections are held tomorrow.”
Mr Kejriwal, who had been campaigning extensively in Punjab, said the people in the state were getting impatient to root out the Akali-BJP coalition and want to bring in an “honest” AAP to rid people of drug menace corruption.