Badal to meet PM on SGPC crisis | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Badal to meet PM on SGPC crisis

punjab Updated: Mar 16, 2012 18:59 IST


Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to resolve the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) impasse as the Union home ministry is still to notify the date for holding the new SGPC session to elect its office-bearers and 11-member executive body.

"I have asked for an appointment with the PM and as soon as I get the reply, I will meet Dr Singh," said Badal while talking to mediapersons here on Friday after paying obeisance at the Golden Temple along with his cabinet colleagues, including his son and deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Elections for the 170 member SGPC house were held in September last year. Thereafter in December following a notification by the union home ministry the new SGPC house met to co-opt 15 members. Jathedars of the five Sikh takhts and the head granthi of the Harmandir Sahib are the ex-officio members of the house.

However since then the home ministry has not issued the requisite notification for summoning a meeting of the new general house to elect the president, other office bearers and the executive.

In the absence of the notification the office bearers which include president Avtar Singh Makkar who were elected in November 2010 are continuing. The delay in issuing the notification is probably due to the case filed by the Sehajdhari Federation which is pending in the Punjab and Haryana high court.

The federation had challenged the 2004 union government's decision to debar Sehajdharis (non-Sikhs who believe in the Sikh ideology) from voting in the SGPC general elections. A case filed by the SGPC in the Supreme Court seeking due recognition of the new house is also pending.

On the delay by the home ministry, Badal said, "It is sad that the central government has not issued the notification. The SGPC is a unique body which was formed after a great deal of sacrifice during the freedom struggle. Even the PM's father took part in the struggle against British raj that led to the formation of the SGPC."

He pointed out that this crisis was of a very grave nature as the SGPC house must meet before March 31 to clear the budget proposals for the next fiscal year. "If this does not happen then the SGPC will not be able to spend a single penny and even the employees will go without salaries", he added.