Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said the reported proposal of Congress government in Haryana to form a separate body for the management of Gurdwaras in the state was "ill conceived, arbitrary and unconstitutional."
Haryana government had formed a Committee headed by Finance Minister H S Chatha to consider demand of some Sikh groups for the formation of a separate Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) in the state.
A Sikh congregation is going to take place at Kaithal in Haryana on July 6 to discuss the issue of separate SGPC for Haryana.
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda too had made it clear that his government would take any decision on the issue in the "interests of Sikhs" inviting wrath of SGPC head Avtar Singh Makkar and SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal.
The Kaithal congregation is being organised jointly by Didar Singh Nalwi and Jagdish Singh Jhinda, two senior leaders in Haryana who recently joined together on the issue of separate SGPC for Haryana.
Talking to reporters after a function here today, Badal said "the Hooda government's nefarious designs to divide the Sikhs would never materialize".
He said this sinister move of the Haryana government was a desperate attempt of the Congress government, which was already on the verge of its ouster from power in the state, to woo the Sikh voters.
"However this election stunt of Congress would hardly pay dividends to it as the Sikhs of Haryana have time and again rejected the demand for having separate body for managing the Gurudwara affairs in the state," he said.
Badal said as the SGPC came into existence by an act of Parliament so it was solely authorised to take any decision on this matter, adding that Haryana government was completely incompetent to bifurcate the SGPC.
The Chief Minister also cautioned the Congress to refrain from meddling in the religious affairs of the Sikhs just for the sake of its vested political motives.
He said it was unfortunate that the Haryana government was reviving this contentious issue despite of the fact that the former prime minister Manmohan Singh had desisted it from taking the step during the UPA government.
"We have already met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the issue and we will take every possible step to foil the attempt of Haryana government to divide the SGPC," Badal said.
Replying to another query, he said the state government was in constant touch with the Union government for ensuring the safe and prompt return of the Punjabis trapped in strife- torn Iraq.