Anxious to settle the Haryana-Punjab slugfest over the controversial gurdwara management committee issue, the Centre has named Kaptan Singh Solanki as Haryana’s next governor and has kept the window open for a presidential reference on the matter.
President Pranab Mukherjee appointed Solanki, 75, to replace Jagannath Pahadia who completes his term on Saturday.
Pahadia had given his assent to the controversial Haryana Sikh gurdwara management committee Act. Home secretary Anil Goswami had asked Pahadia to withdraw his assent.
Government sources said the home ministry would like the new governor to withdraw his assent to the law “if there are no legal impediments in doing so”.
If this does not work, the presidential reference to the Supreme Court would settle the issue of legality of bill for once and all, especially since Pahadia has already given its assent and the law has come into force.
Pahadia’s ouster comes in the backdrop of Punjab’s Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) government pressurising the Centre for an early resolution in their favour. Punjab deputy CM and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal met Union home minister Rajnath Singh and defence minister Arun Jaitley on Friday.
“The Haryana government has taken a decision which will basically harm national integration... It is an attack on India’s unity,” Sukhbir Badal said after the meeting. “They (Haryana) have challenged the authority of the government of India, they have violated every article, every word of the Constitution... they have done something which is unimaginable in the history of this country,” he added.