Capt Amarinder Singh, deputy leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, on Monday lashed out at Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for raising Sikh community’s issues for “personal interests”.
“It is so characteristic of Badal to rake up Panthic (Sikh community) issues for personal interests,” he said, accusing the five-time chief minister of resorting to “political blackmail”.
Badal had opposed the Maharashtra government’s decision to appoint a BJP MLA as the chief of the management board of the Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded, saying that the decision was against the Sikh code of religious ethics.
Earlier, Badal had also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him that the Maharashtra government’s move was allegedly in violation of the Sikh maryada (code of ethics) and had hurt religious sentiments of Sikhs across the world.
Amarinder alleged that for Badal, no Sikh was a true Sikh if he did not toe his (Badal’s) line.
“If any Sikh is with the Congress or any other party such as the BJP, he is not a Sikh for Mr Badal,” the Amritsar MP said in a statement here.
The former CM said, “He (Badal) had even termed Panth Rattan (former SGPC chief, late Gurcharan Singh Tohra) and (Akali leader) Jagdev Singh Talwandi as traitors.”
Amarinder said this was Badal’s last and desperate bid to rake up Panthic issues “to conceal his own failures as he had realised that the ground was slipping beneath his feet.”
“Hazur Sahib has an independent management body and they have every right to appoint their own people to the committee,” he said, asking, “Why should Mr Badal have any objection, particularly when the gurdwara management there is being run very efficiently?”
“Just because someone does not belong to Badal’s Akali Dal does not mean he has no right to hold a prominent position in the affairs of Hazur Sahib,” Amarinder asserted, adding that similarly, for a long time the Haryana SGPC was being demanded by Sikhs of Haryana.