Reacting to the reported statement of union minister DV Sadananda Gowda terming khaps as illegal and unconstitutional bodies, Haryana khaps have said the minister should either tender an unconditional apology or Prime Minister Narendra Modi should sack him.
Sarvjatyekhap mahapanchayat held a meeting in this regard in Jind on Saturday. Gowda, the Union law and justice minister, has demanded action against khaps by dubbing them "unconstitutional and illegal bodies" active in their respective areas, in Lok Sabha on December 11.
Barha khap president Kuldeep Singh Dhanda, an advocate, said either Gowda should withdraw his controversial statement or Prime Minister Narendra Modi should sack him immediately.
In an October assembly poll rally at Jind, Modi had hailed the relevance of khaps and bowed his head for their contribution to solving social issues.
The khap leader said the situation is quite ironic in the Bharatiya Janata Party, when its topmost leaders - Narendra Modi and Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar - acknowledge the contribution of social administration system, the Union law minister speaks a different language. Recently, Khattar at a public meeting had called khaps as custodian of society, who keep a check on social evils.
Kandela khap pradhan Tek Ram Kandela said Gowda does not seem to have knowledge of Indian culture and history otherwise he would not have uttered these words.
Dhull khap president Inder Singh Dhull said historically, it is proven that khaps were never banned even in the Mughal or British era owing to their social relevance, but words coming from the country's law minister in the saffron government set a wrong precedent.
Khap leaders also reiterated their earlier decision to hold a north India khap mahapanchayat in February at Delhi to press for amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act.