Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday claimed that people of Haryana never wanted a separate gurdwara management committee and described the move of the Haryana government to set up a separate committee for managing the affairs of Sikh shrines in the state as illegal and patently wrong.
Badal said it was a 'desperate attempt' on the part of the Congress to hand over the control of gurdwaras to its agents in Haryana. "This was an ill-conceived move of the government with the aim to divide the Sikhs on one side and destabilising the Sikh panth on the other side," Badal said.
Parkash Singh Badal said, "The Haryana Congress is following in the footsteps of the erstwhile British government, who appointed their stooges (Mahants) to run the affairs of gurdwaras in the pre-SGPC period as a result of which gurdwara reforms movement was initiated and led to the formation of SGPC in 1925."
Addressing mediapersons on the sidelines of the inauguration of the newly-constructed Rs 65-crore Mandi Board office at SAS Nagar in Sector 65A, Badal said Sikhs from Haryana never wanted Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (HSGPC) as it was aptly proved in the last general elections of the SGPC when all the 11 seats in Haryana were captured by the Shiromani Akali Dal with a thumping majority whereas so called 'protagonist' of HSGPC like Jagdish Singh Jinda and Didar Singh Nalwi were badly trounced and could not even save their security deposit. He added that now they were playing into the hands of the Haryana Congress in furtherance of its political motives, eyeing on the forthcoming state assembly elections.
The chief minister even slammed the Haryana Congress for including the demand of HSGPC in its election manifesto with an ulterior motive to exploit the religious sentiments of Sikhs living there. However, Badal categorically said the entire episode for the creation of a separate committee was merely a political gimmick of the Congress, which would soon unfold into reality and said it was practically not feasible to constitute separate committee and would not happen at all.