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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

HSGMC row dominates Rakhar Punia rallies

Harkirat Singh, Hindustan Times  Baba Bakala (Amritsar), August 11, 2014
First Published: 09:09 IST(11/8/2014) | Last Updated: 13:02 IST(11/8/2014)

Saying that issues related to gurdwaras were ever close to the heart and soul of every Sikh, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said his party, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), was “duty-bound” to thwart every attempt of “modern-day mahants” to take control of Sikh shrines in Haryana. He was speaking at a rally held here on the occasion of Rakhar Punia, or Rakhi Purnima.

Badal is the patron of Punjab’s ruling SAD that also controls the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, and the SAD and SGPC have been steadfast in their opposition to the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC) recently formed by the Congress government of that state. “We have to remain vigilant, or else ‘sarkari agents’ will take control of our shrines, including the Golden Temple,” Badal claimed at the Sunday rally.

Badal alleged that Congress and its agents were trying to wrest control of gurdwaras as these were the main source of temporal and spiritual power of Sikhs.

“These attempts of the Congress and its stooges would never turn into reality because every Sikh is aware of the party’s dubious track record,” the CM said, adding that attempts to weaken the SAD, the SGPC “and even Sri Akal Takht Sahib” would not be allowed “at any cost”. He recalled sacrifices that went into formation of the SGPC.

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