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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

HSGMC will never be a reality: Parkash Singh Badal

None  Chandigarh, July 25, 2014
First Published: 20:36 IST(25/7/2014) | Last Updated: 20:45 IST(25/7/2014)

Even as Haryana remained firm on its stand to have a separate committee for management of gurdwaras, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday said the neighbouring state's demand for its own SGPC would never translate into reality.

Despite opposition from Punjab, Haryana recently notified a 41-member ad hoc Haryana Shiromani Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC) to manage Sikh shrines in the state.

Badal, however, said, "The separate committee for management of gurdwaras in Haryana would never happen in reality."

"It was a deliberate attempt to divide the Sikhs and dilute their institutions," an official statement quoting Badal said here.

He said that the Shiromani Akali Dal was not fond of organising agitations ('morcha') but at the same time they would not allow the "anti-Sikh forces to weaken" their institutions.

Badal said that he was in constant touch with the Centre through their emissary, former union minister, Shanta Kumar, who has assured him of early resolution to this vexed issue.

He said that the party would chalk out its future course of action on July 27 at Amritsar during the World Sikh Conference.

Haryana Sikhs too have also called a meeting at Karnal on July 28.

Punjab has been protesting Haryana government's move to form the HSGPC following demands of Sikhs of the state.

Senior Congress leader Ashwani Kumar in a statement said the reported statement of Badal of his intention to court arrest, if necessary, and to launch a "morcha" against Haryana SGPC is indeed a cause of grave concern.

"His statement that the decision regarding HSGMC represents a conflict between the Sikh religion and Congress could not have been farther from the truth. Congress respects all religious sensitivities as also our non-negotiable constitutional principles," the Congress MP said.

"The attempt to create a wedge between states and communities along communal lines is a frontal assault on the first principles of our federal polity and an affront to the Constitution. The only democratic way to resolve sensitive issues is through constructive negotiations within the framework of the law," he said.

Haryana Assembly at its session here on July 11 passed the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Bill 2014 to which Governor Jagan Nath Pahadia gave his assent on July 14 despite opposition from SGPC leaders from Punjab.

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