Following the defeat of all four candidates of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD-Badal) in the Delhi polls, the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee has said the result was a mandate against the use of religion in politics.
Didar Singh Nalwi, the senior vice president of the HSGMC, accused Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy and SAD president, Sukhbir Singh Badal, of using Sikhs for their own political interests.
He said the SAD leadership campaigned extensively in Delhi for four seats but faced "humiliating defeat" from the Sikh-dominating segments.
"Aam Aadmi Party (victory) has proved that people want a political revolution where the issues of common man are promised to be resolved by good governance. SAD and its political ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which are known for using religions in the political activities, were completely rejected by voters of all sections of the society," Nalwi, a former registrar of Punjabi University, Patiala, added.
The HSGMC's strong-worded statement comes in the background of the SAD and its ally in Haryana, the Indian National Lokhit Dal (INLD) being the most vocal opponents of the organisation's basis itself. The former government led by Congress's Bhupinder Singh Hooda had announced the formation of HSGMC last year, but the decision was challenged in courts and also at Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhism.
The SAD and INLD are against the bifurcation of Amritsar-based Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) to allow a separate committee (HSGMC) to manage Sikh shrines in Haryana.
Nalwi said: "It's high time that the Akalis introspect their political philosophy. Political parties should give due respect to the constitutional rights of all citizens. Delhi voters having rejected candidates who contested on basis of religion will have a positive effect in other states also."