A major embarrassment was caused for the Aam Aadmi Party when its Sangrur MP, Bhagwant Mann, was forced to leave a religious ceremony after he was allegedly found drunk by a former granthi (ceremonial reader).
“I found Mann smelling foul and told him to leave the stage. How can a man come drunk on the stage where Guru Granth Sahib Parkash had been done while we are struggling with the case of disrespect to the Guru Granth Sahib,” said Jagtar Singh, the former granthi of the Guru Granth Sahib at Amritsar’s Darbar Sahib.
The ceremony was held in memory of the two men killed in police firing in the ongoing protests against the alleged desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib.
Singh said that, upon being confronted, Mann left the stage immediately.
“I feel that Mann should not be allowed to share any panthic (community) stage in the future and he should apologise to the whole of Punjab for this shameful act,” Singh added.
“Had I announced that he was inebriated from the stage, the crowd would have attacked him and the whole atmosphere would have become tense. So, I told him to leave at once and he, too, did not argue with us,” he added.
Mann left the venue in a huff after he was reportedly asked to come down the stage. He was confronted by a few members of the community as he was leaving.
A video of Mann leaving the venue in a huff on Sunday went viral on the social media.
Mann categorically denied being under the influence at the event.
“It is a conspiracy against me. One can easily imagine who the persons behind it are. The whole party is pained after the incident and the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also came in on Sunday to share grief with the families of the two deceased men,” Mann stated.
The two men were killed in police firing during a protest against the alleged desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib when at least 100 pages of the holy book of Sikhs were found strewn near a gurdwara in Bargari in Faridkot district on October 11.
Image: Bhagwant Mann at an event. Photograph: Twitter