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Punjab minister cleans shoes, utensils for religious atonement
Tuesday May 6, 2014 10:26 PM, IANS

Punjab's powerful Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia Tuesday cleaned shoes, washed utensils and listened to religious hymns at the Takht Keshgarh Sahib here as part of religious penance.

Majithia, a senior Akali Dal leader, was last Thursday (May 1) ordered by the Sikh high priests to do religious penance at the five temporal seats (Takhts) of the Sikh religion after he distorted a religious hymn during a political event for Arun Jaitley, the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat.

Carrying out voluntary service (sewa) at the second-most important Sikh shrine (after the Harmandar Sahib at Golden Temple complex in Amritsar), Majithia, the brother-in-law of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, dusted shoes, washed utensils and listened to the 'gurbani kirtan'.

Majithia was declared 'tankhaiya' by the Sikh high priests during their meeting in Amritsar last week for distorting the religious hymn of Guru Gobind Singh 'Deh Shiva bar Mohea..'. The verdict was delivered after Majithia offered an unconditional apology for his act.

The five high priests (jathedars or chiefs) of the Sikh temporal seats had met at the Akal Takht in Amritsar, the highest temporal seat of the Sikh religion, Thursday to decide his punishment.

Majithia was asked to carry out voluntary service (sewa) at each of the five Takht, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbhachan Singh had announced.

Apart from Akal Takht and Takht Keshgarh Sahib, the other shrines are Takht Hazur Sahib (Nanded-Maharashtra), Takht Patna Sahib (Patna-Bihar) and Takht Damdama Sahib (Talwandi Sabo-Punjab).

Jaitley was locked in a fierce electoral fight with Congress candidate and former chief minister Amarinder Singh for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat.

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