In an apparent strategy to hot up the issue of formation of an independent Sikh gurdwara panel for Haryana, another prominent Sikh leader from the state has announced to float a political party.
Didar Singh Nalwi, president of the breakaway faction of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (ad-hoc), claimed that the front would take up the issues of "oppressed classes", including Sikhs.
"I was silently garnering support for the new party for the last one-and-a-half year. The party would be a voice of Sikhs and the Backward Classes of Haryana whose interests have been ignored by the political class for decades," Nalwi told Hindustan Times on Tuesday.
Terming the Congress leadership as anti-Sikh, he alleged that the minority community's interests were ignored for the petty vote bank politics.
"The Congress had included the formation of HSGPC in the election manifestos in 2005 and 2009 but it ended as a move to garner Sikh votes. Now, we do not want anyone to play with our sentiments and take our own political routes for community's issues," said Nalwi.
Keeping the details, including the name of the political party a secret, Nalwi said further political strategy of the front would be announced officially at Kurukshetra on Wednesday.
In November, other faction of the HSGPC led by Jagdish Singh Jhinda had also hinted at forming a political party to implement Section 72 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966.
The Act was passed by Parliament when the states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh were carved out of Punjab.
Besides a university and an agriculture research institute for Haryana, the Act also ensures an independent panel to manage Sikh shrines for the state, Jhinda had stated.
The Sikh leadership of the state is alleging that though the two educational institutes were established, the respective state governments chose to ignore the formation of separate Sikh panel.
As of now, Haryana has 72 gurdwaras, including seven historical shrines associated with the Sikh Gurus, which are under the direct control of the Amritsar-based Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
Haryana leaders have been alleging that donations worth crores of rupees collected from Haryana are not used for proper upkeep of shrines, but used to appease Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's party.
Jhinda and Nalwi had jointly started a campaign for a separate SGPC and won SGPC elections from Karnal and Kurukshetra segments in 2004.
Their group had registered victory on six seats in Haryana on the issue of a separate panel for the state.
Meanwhile, the political observers said the fronts could act as pressure groups on the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government for the formation of HSGPC.
"In fact the movement of separate Sikh panel has lost momentum after Jhinda and Nalwi parted ways. The Chattha committee that had invited suggestions and objections by Sikhs on the HSGPC is gathering dust with the state government. No political party has raised its voice on the issue except the BJP-HJC's chief ministerial candidate Kuldeep Bishnoi," said the observer.