Haryana governor Jagannath Pahadia’s assent to the Bill for a separate state-level body to manage gurdwaras in Haryana took leaders of the SAD and SGPC by surprise.
HT Correspondent Gurpreet Singh Nibber talks to SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar who is in shock over the signing of bill and was unable to speak out further course of action, he is depending on the leaders of SAD.
The Haryana governor has given his assent to Haryana Sikh gurdwaras (management) committee bill. What are the options left with the SGPC?
We are feeling cheated, as on Monday morning when we met Haryana governor Jagannath Pahadia he assured that he would not interfere in Sikh issues and would not sign the bill. It was former prime minister Manmohan Singh who didn’t let it happen for nine years. Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal has called the core committee meeting of the party and I am sure a solution would come out.
Top leaders of Shiromani Akali Dal and you met the union minister to stop the move for a separate gurdwara committee in Haryana. Has all that failed to give any result?
I am surprised why a number of meetings of CM Parkash Singh Badal and SAD president and deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal with the Prime Minister and home minister failed to give any result. It is a setback for Sikhs and really shocking why the Centre has not acted, when all the powers vests in them.
Would you give away the charge of gurdwaras in Haryana under the control of SGPC to the ad hoc committee of Haryana?
Taking control of gurdwaras is a lengthy procedure and I advise the Sikh leaders of Haryana not to act in haste.
Sikh leaders in Haryana say now they will go to different states and ask Sikhs to form their own state-level committees.
Ultimately the Sikh leaders of Haryana, Didar Singh Nalwi and Jagdish Singh Jhinda have to win elections to become members of gurdwara body, which they have got separated from the SGPC with the intervention of Haryana government. In case they are so fond of becoming national leaders I can’t stop them. They can even head national-level committee if they managed to create one.
What are the legal options left with SGPC at this stage?
We would decide in Tuesday’s core committee of the Akali Dal.
Can’t Haryana Sikhs have their say?
We are not against the Sikhs of Haryana but against the division of supreme body of Sikhs – SGPC. The Haryana government had done injustice to Sikhs by interfering in their matters. We are against that.