Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday warned that the move to take control of Haryana gurdwaras from the SGPC will not be tolerated.
"The efforts of the Haryana government to wrest the control of gurdwaras in the state through its remote-controlled 'modern mahants' would not be tolerated at any cost. The future course of action to oppose this sinister move of the Congress would be decided after due deliberations with the Sikh Panth," Badal said while addressing gatherings at various places in Muktsar district of Punjab, 250 km from here.
"On the directions of Jathedar Sri Akal Takht Sahib, the supreme religious body of the Sikhs, we have called off the agitation against the separate committee in Haryana. However, if due care is not taken to assuage the religious sentiments of Sikhs, which have been deeply hurt by this anti-Sikh step of the Haryana government, a relevant strategy would be chalked out in consultation with the Sikh Panth," he said.
The chief minister said the SGPC was formed after enormous sacrifices by the Sikhs and added that the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC) move of the Haryana government was aimed at weakening the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). He termed the Congress anti-Sikh.
"By constituting a separate committee for management of gurdwaras in Haryana, the Congress has inflicted a blow to the Sikh psyche, which cannot be tolerated at any cost," he said.
The Akali Dal and the SGPC are locked in a bitter controversy with the Haryana government under chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda over creation of the HSGPC. They have strongly opposed the creation of HSGPC for Haryana Sikh shrines.
The Haryana assembly June 11 passed a bill under which a new committee would be set up to manage gurdwaras in Haryana. The Haryana Sikh Gurdwaras (Management) Bill, 2014, got the assent of the Haryana governor June 14.
The SGPC, the mini-parliament of Sikh religious affairs which controls gurdwaras across Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, will lose control of gurdwaras in Haryana under the new law.
The SGPC, which has a Rs.950-crore annual budget, controls the majority of the gurdwaras in Punjab, including the holiest of all Sikh shrines "Harmandir Sahib" (popularly known as Golden Temple) in Amritsar.