The Panthic agenda dominated speeches of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal as he campaigned in villages of Talwandi Sabo on Wednesday in support of party candidate Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu. “Sikh Guru di kaum hai. Congress jinna iss de nal dhakka karegi, eh unna hi takdi ho ke niklegi (Sikhs are a community of the Guru and they will emerge stronger a much as the Congress will try to suppress and play fraud with it.),” said Sukhbir Singh Badal during his speeches.
“The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) is parliament of Sikhs. The Akal Takht is our highest religious institution. Earlier, Congress attacked our religious institutions with tanks and cannons and now they want to damage and divide the SGPC,” said Sukhbir, who is usually not known for his Panthic speeches.
The deputy CM said: “The Haryana Shiromani Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC) is the last missile of the Congress against the Sikhs. But, it will not work.”
A major part of his speech-stressed on the Panthic agenda, but he also explained to the people how union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal and he himself would work for the development of Talwandi Sabo if the party candidate won the assembly byelection.
“The (Shiromani) Akali Dal is the only party which raises the issues of the Sikhs not only in Parliament but also across the globe. We never drifted away from these issues,” said Sukhbir when asked if the SAD was coming back to the Panthic agenda via the HSGMC?
When asked if resentment against the state government is an advantage for those who are in favour of the HSGMC, he said, “There is no resentment against the state government. In fact, we have emerged stronger in the elections by securing six seats in Parliament. It is the Gandhi family that wants to divide the Sikhs. The family attempted to destroy the SGPC earlier also, but then Dr Manmohan Singh did not allow it as he was the prime minister then and his father had played a major role in the formation of the SGPC. Now Congress is at it again.”
Asked if pictures showing SGPC men moving to take possession of gurdwaras and brandishing weapons inside the Golden Temple has damaged the image of the SGPC, Sukhbir said: “Sikhs are an aggressive community. Kirpan (sword) is our religious symbol. Normally, they carry kirpans not guns.”
Referring to the violence inside the Golden Temple on the 30th anniversary of Operation Bluestar, Sukhbir said, “On that day, the SGPC task force was just trying to protect the shrine from the possible damage.”