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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Akali Dal leaders to meet president over Haryana SGPC

IANS  Chandigarh, July 13, 2014
First Published: 19:44 IST(13/7/2014) | Last Updated: 21:15 IST(13/7/2014)

Leaders of Punjab's ruling Shiromani Akali Dal will meet President Pranab Mukherjee soon to protest against the recent bill passed by the Haryana assembly under which a new Haryana Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC) would be set up to manage gurdwaras in Haryana.

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Akali Dal president and Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday said he would lead a delegation of leaders of the Sikh community to the president "to unmask the conspiracy hatched by  Congress president Sonia Gandhi to divide the Sikhs to create unrest in the region".

Badal said that the delegation will give details of the conspiracy to the president and "demand that no one should be allowed to interfere in the internal affairs of the Sikhs".

He said, the delegation would apprise the president of the anti-Sikh designs of the Congress party which was earlier responsible for Operation Bluestar and the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi in 1984.

"We will represent to the president that even while the Sikh community was still nursing the wounds, the party (Congress) has again initiated a plan to divide the Sikh community and lay the foundation for religious tension in the region," Badal said in a statement here.

The Haryana assembly on Friday passed a bill allowing the setting up of a separate committee to manage gurdwaras in Haryana.

The Amritsar-based SGPC, which manages gurdwaras across Punjab, Haryana and Himachal  Pradesh, will lose control over the Haryana shrines with the new law coming into force.

The bill, passed at the behest of the Congress government in Haryana headed by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, was introduced on the first day of the monsoon session of the assembly and passed after a brief discussion within three hours.

The opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) walked out of the assembly, protesting the manner in which the bill was introduced and hurriedly passed.

Hooda has been accused of taking the step on the eve of the assembly polls in Haryana which are likely to be held in October.

Badal said the Sikh community would ensure that the "fraudulent and illegal step taken by the Haryana assembly will never see the light of day".

"Sikhs worldwide will converge on this issue and oust the Haryana government from office in the forthcoming assembly elections.

"The community will also form a common front against the Congress and the Gandhi family which is hell bent on taking revenge on the community even though it was the Sikhs who had always suffered at the hands of the Gandhi family," Badal said.

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