In a last-ditch effort to stall the formation of a separate gurdwara panel, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Friday announced the constitution of a sub-committee to manage gurdwaras in Haryana independently.
The move came hours before the Hooda Government piloted and passed a bill in the Vidhan Sabha for the creation of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC).
The decision to set up the sub-committee was taken by the SGPC executive and was meant to persuade Haryana Sikh leaders, spearheading the demand for separate committee, to manage the Haryana gurdwaras now under the SGPC’s control. “We have long been offering to create a sub-committee for Haryana but certain Sikh leaders bent upon dividing the SGPC didn’t accept it. To make our intention clear to Haryana Sikhs, we decided on the sub-panel,” SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar said.
Separate secretariat in Kurukshetra
The sub-committee would be headed by the SGPC president, while its vice-president would be chosen from 11 elected SGPC members from Haryana. The 11 members were told to elect a leader and send their recommendation to the SGPC.
The sub-committee would handle issues such as expenditure and recruitment independently. “We have decided to set up a separate secretariat for Haryana in Kurukshetra,” Makkar said.
On the Supreme Court ruling that the SGPC can’t take important decisions, Makkar said executive body is competent to take decisions. Makkar adds that he had appealed to the Sikhs leaders of Haryana not to for separate gurdwara body.
Earlier addressing a press conference in gurdwara nada sahib near Panchkula, Haryana Makkar sought intervention of the NDA government in centre over formation of Haryana Shiromani gurudwara prabhandak committee (HSGPC).
"I appeal to Sikhs of Haryana to stay united and don't get distracted. (Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh) Hooda is trying to disintegrate the Sikh unity. The gurdwara act 1925 is being thwarted by Hooda, which needs to be stopped," said Makkar.
He added, "We strongly oppose the formation of HSGPC and have sought the intervention of central government. Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal had also met President Pranab Mukherjee and explained the matter," he said.
On the passage of the bill for the separate management committee, Makkar said that the president's consent would be needed for HSGPC. "Haryana CM had no sanctity of Sikhism and had been pursuing the agenda to meet his selfish political interests," adds Makkar.
Later, a group of Sikh activists handed over a memorandum against formation of HSGPC to deputy commissioner Panchkula SS Phulia.
Decision on Chartered accountant kept pending: Though executive committee of SGPC was unanimous for removing committee chartered accountant Satinder Singh Kohli, but the decision was kept pending. He is facing the allegations that he interferes in SGPC functioning as a non-member and charge huge fee form the gurdwara committee. Reportedly Raghujit Singh Virk, an executive member, requested the committee to keep the decision pending.