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HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Karnal, August 19, 2013
Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, senior Congress leader and former chief minister of Punjab, has favoured the demand for constituting a separate gurdwara panel for Haryana. At meet-the-press programme organised by the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) here on Monday, Bhattal said if Delhi had an independent shrine for Sikhs then Haryana also deserved it.

“When Haryana was carved out of Punjab in 1966, there was a provision for a separate Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). I fully support the Haryana Sikhs' demand for an independent body to manage the shrines in the state,” said Bhattal, a sitting legislator from Lehra in Sangrur district.

Taking a dig at Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, Bhattal said he was in the habit of grabbing centre stage in politics.

“The Gujarat government's recent decision to displace hundreds of Sikh families from Kutch area is the latest example of having a communal mindset. The farming families were staying in Kutch for decades and the Modi government has approach the Supreme Court to get their land vacated,” she said.

Bhattal said the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were the collision partners in Punjab and Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal should have intervened to ensure relief to farmers.

“Modi is projecting himself as a prime ministerial candidate of the BJP, but his non-secular communal credentials in his own state are well known. Contrary to the image projected by his men as being a man of good governance, Modi has proved them wrong by harassing hundreds of Punjabi families settled in Gujarat to convert the infertile land into a highly cultivable land,” she added.