Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention on the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act issue.
The two wanted the Prime Minister to advise the union home ministry to stop the Delhi government from amending the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act, regarding direct election to the president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee.
The two called the move by the Delhi government as "ill conceived" and "politically motivated". "The interference of the government in the religious affairs of Sikhs could lead to serious conflicts," the chief minister told the Prime Minister. The chief minister impressed upon the Prime Minister to ask the Delhi government for immediate withdrawal of the proposed amendment.
Describing the amendment bill as "absurd", the chief minister said it violated the agreement reached between Jawaharlal Nehru and Master Tara Singh, which specifically talked about the commitment of the union government not to take any steps on Sikh affairs without consulting the Sikh community and representatives of Sikhs through the SGPC.
"This attempt on part of the government would lead to fresh suspicion, resentment and alienation in the minds of Sikhs, already recovering from the painful and discriminatory blows. In addition, it would also lead to unprecedented corruption in gurdwara affairs," Badal said.
The chief minister said there was no such provision in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.
Raising another issue about the SGPC elections, the chief minister informed Manmohan Singh that the union home ministry had disenfranchised Sehajdari Sikhs from voting in the SGPC elections by a notification, which Sehajdhari Sikhs challenged in the Punjab and Haryana high court.
The chief minister urged upon Manmohan Singh to head a group of ministers for pushing the much-needed diversification of agriculture in the state as a second green revolution to save the beleaguered peasantry on the one hand and for preventing the depleting groundwater and eroding soil texture from further degradation on the other.