Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to restrain the Congress government in Maharashtra from going ahead with its decision to "arbitrarily reduce" the representation of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in the Takht Sri Hazur Sahib Board from the existing four to one besides denying the membership to the Chief Khalsa Diwan, which was earlier represented on the board.
In a letter sent to the Prime Minister, Badal said it was not an ordinary administrative decision as it concerned the sentiments and religious traditions of Sikhs. "This anti-Sikh decision was part of a deep-rooted conspiracy of the Congress to lower the dignity of Sikh religious institutions, including the Takht Sri Hazur Sahib and the SGPC," Badal claimed.
The chief minister impressed upon Modi to direct the Maharashtra government to prevent the situation from getting worse and reiterated that the Centre should take appropriate measures for restraining the Maharashtra government from going ahead with the move.
He said the management board of the Takht was constituted under the Takht Sri Hazur Sahib Board Nanded Act, 1956, on the demands of the Sikh community to free the gurdwara from anti-Sikh practices, adding that the arrangement had lasted peacefully for the past 58 years and never was a need felt for bringing any change in it.
"The other curious aspect of the decision is that while the number of members of the board has been increased from 17 to 21, the number of representatives of the SGPC has been reduced from four to one. This is not only illogical but also prima facie mischievous," Badal said.