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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

HSGMC row: Badal threatens to resign, conveys to Rajnath, Jaitley

Gurpreet Singh Nibber, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, July 16, 2014
First Published: 22:57 IST(16/7/2014) | Last Updated: 23:16 IST(16/7/2014)

In a last-ditch effort to stall the bifurcation of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday threatened to resign from chief minister's post and also pull down the SAD-BJP coalition government in state.

Upping the ante, Badal alongwith four Akali MPs from Punjab rushed to Delhi, and categorically conveyed it to the union home minister Rajnath Singh and finance minister Arun Jaitley that "he would go to any extent and not continue as Punjab chief minister incase the union government failed to act now to save bifurcation of SGPC".

Akali leaders also met former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu, urban development minister in the center who enjoys close relations with the Badals. Reportedly Akalis were conveyed that a decision on the issue could only be reached after arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns from BRICS meeting in Brazil.

Badal skipped presentation of state's budget and reached Delhi early morning, to build pressure on the center. Threat by SAD one of the oldest allies of BJP, which is in power in the Centre, to pull down the state government, has pushed the later into a tight spot. Akali MPs Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Balwinder Singh Bhundar, Prem Singh Chandumajra and Naresh Gujral accompanied Badal.

SAD adopted tough posturing, after approval for a separate Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC) was given by Haryana vidhan sabha on Friday last week, and subsequent assent by the state governor Jagannath Pahadia came on Monday this week, which was a shock for the SAD leaders as the same day he promised an Akali delegation that he would not interfere in Sikh matters.

Formation of HSGMC means gurdwaras of Haryana would go out of the purview of SGPC and further adding to the woes of SAD and particularly the Badals, Haryana Sikh leaders Jagdish Singh Jhinda and Didar Singh Nalvi behind separate gurdwara body in state, on Tuesday announced that they would go to other states to call upon the Sikhs to form a separate gurdwara bodies in their respective states.

Earlier on Tuesday, Badal called meeting of Akali legislative party and later an emergency meeting of party's core committee. Reportedly in the meeting Badal broke down and conveyed to the leaders of his party that he would stay in the chair of the chief minister incase he can't save bifurcation of SGPC.
 
The crisis erupted under the nose of Akalis despite having raised much hue and cry before the Centre. Badal met Prime Minister Narendra Modi immediately after NDA government led by BJP came to power. He also met Rajnath Singh and Arun Jailtey to save the situation. Akalis claim that in the past nine years despite it being Congress government at the centre it didn't let bifurcation of SGPC. Akalis give credit to former PM Manmohan Singh for delaying Haryana's move.

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