American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (AGPC) on Wednesday termed the Election Commission's move to prevent political conferences during Hola Mohalla and Baisakhi in Punjab as "anti-Sikh".
The AGPC said that as per Sikh traditions of Miri-Piri, such conferences are held to put up political agenda before the public, and added that such a ban is against 'panthic' conventions. They also said that ECI should have restricted its role to ensuring free and fair elections only.
AGPC president Jaswant Singh Hothi and coodinator Pritpal Singh stated in a press release that the ECI was surpassing its authority by interfering in Sikh religious affairs.
They said that there already was a conspiracy going on to mitigate 'panthic' and Sikh conventions and traditions, and added that this move was also in the same direction.
They also said that it was unfortunate that the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which considers itself a "panthic party", had immediately accepted the ECI guidelines.
Speaking in unison, they said that no religious leader has spoken against the ECI's ban on conferences, and added that it was unfortunate.
"SAD has left its 'panthic' agenda totally, and was first to accept the dictates of the election commission. As per the Sikh traditions of Miri-Piri, the spiritual power gives directions to the temporal powers, but unfortunately, it is the way around now. Now, political powers are heavy on spiritual powers, and that's why this is happening?" said Pritpal Singh.