Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Saturday said he expected his Punjab counterpart Parkash Singh Badal and SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar to respect the sentiments of the Sikhs of Haryana who sought a separate committee to manage gurdwaras of Haryana.
Hooda, who was interacting with newspersons after the cabinet meeting when asked to comment on the statement made by Badal and Makkar over the legal validity of separate SGPC for Haryana, Hooda said he had nothing to do what Badal said and added that separate Sikh body was being constituted under legal framework.
When asked to comment when the separate gurdwara committee would become functional in the state, Hooda said the Haryana Sikh Gurudwaras (Management) Bill-2014 would become an Act after getting nod from the governor, and thereafter further process would be initiated.
In reply to another question, Hooda said he respected Badal, Makkar and expected them to respect the sentiments of Sikhs of Haryana and stop creating any hurdles for Sikhs in serving the gurdwaras.
Earlier in the day also, Hooda while addressing a gathering of Sikhs, who called on him to express their gratitude for passing Haryana Sikh Gurdwara (Management) Bill, 2014, in a felicitation function organised here, had said in Punjabi, while referring to Badal and Makkar, "Tussi meri manno ya na manno, ghattoghat Haryana de sikhan di bhavnao da aadar karo, te tussi adanga na pao. (Badal and Makkar may or may not support him but they should at least respect the sentiments of the Sikhs of Haryana and should not create any obstructions.)"
President of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (ad hoc) Jagdish Singh Jhinda who also spoke on the occasion, expressed gratitude towards Hooda and added that Hooda had granted a new freedom to Sikhs of Haryana on July 11, 2014. "We remain slaves of Britishers prior to 1947, then Punjab pushed us to slavery for many years but the Haryana government has granted a new freedom to us by passing a bill," he added.