Covid-19 safety norms went for a toss during the show of strength at the Amritsar residence of the newly appointed Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Navjot Singh Sidhu and during his visit to Golden Temple, Durgiana Temple and Ram Tirath Temple with his supporters.
Earlier on Wednesday, pictures released by Sidhu’s office showed a large gathering of MLAs, ministers and other Congress leaders, almost all of whom, including Sidhu, were seen violating the guidelines at his residence. At least 42 Congress MLAs including four cabinet ministers were present at his residence who later accompanied him to Golden Temple and the shrines in a luxury bus.
Most of his supporters there were seen without masks and violating social distance norms and this even worsened during their visit to the Golden Temple, which was already witnessing a heavy rush of devotees seen standing in long queues.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) employees were trying to maintain social distancing among the devotees but after the group led by Sidhu entered the shrine complex, they were seen jostling with each other.
“They are part of the government. If they are violating the norms, how can they ensure the compliance of the guidelines in public? How can they teach lessons to the general public,” asked an official of the SGPC, who was performing his duty in the shrine.
The officials of the government refused to comment on this mass violation of Covid-19 containment guidelines at a time when courts have taken a dim view of any laxity which may precipitate the third wave of Covid-19 infections in the country.
The situation didn’t improve even later in the day when Sidhu’s supporters were seen violating the guidelines at Durgiana Temple and Ram Tirath Temple.