Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday termed the Haryana government's announcement to establish a separate gurdwara management committee for the state as "illegal and unconstitutional". "If (Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh) Hooda will pass an Act, the Centre will not allow it," said Badal, whose party Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is a partner of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.
Speaking during his visits to drug de-addiction centres in Sangrur and Patiala, he claimed that the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh "had rejected such a demand of some Congressmen even when the Congress-led UPA was in power".
"Don't assume that if Haryana assembly passes a Bill, the very next day it can hand over control of gurdwaras to someone. Once the Bill is passed, it will go to the Centre for consent, and then it can be notified as an Act," said Badal, adding, "I know the law and the Constitution... The issue is not a state subject. In the Punjab Reorganisation Act, it is on the concurrent list (of legislative subjects), thus Haryana can't take a decision on its own."
Badal said it was unfortunate that the Congress was meddling in the religious affairs of the Sikhs. "It's worse that even Congress leaders like Lok Sabha MP Captain Amarinder Singh and state Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa are supporting the decision of their party instead of showing resentment against this irrelevant and unnecessary action of the Haryana Congress government," he added, reiterating his statement that "after Operation Bluestar and the riots of 1984, this is the third major assault by the Congress on the Sikh community".
Earlier, in Mansa too Badal took a tough stand over Hooda's announcement to create a separate gurdwara committee. Speaking to the media during an inspection visit to a de-addiction centre, Badal said Hooda's was "a politically motivated decision, taken keeping in the view the upcoming elections in Haryana".