Terming it to be a third attack on Sikhism after Operation Bluestar and anti-Sikh riots in Delhi in 1984, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday said the Congress by demanding a separate Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) for Haryana was adopting a divisive tactic aimed at creating rift among the Sikhs.
Badal warned the Congress of playing with fire. “They are trying to divide the Sikh community. We will not let the demand for a separate Gurdwara panel for Haryana materialise,” he said, while addressing the media during his visit to the drug de-addiction centre being run by the state health department at Jiwanwal Babri village near here.
Stressing that the present All India Gurdwara Act was passed after making thousands of sacrifices by the Sikhs, the CM said, “The Act did not permit the formation of Haryana Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (HSGPC). It required 3/4 majority in the Parliament to make even an amendment in the Act. The Congress had approached the then prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, seeking formation of a separate SGPC in Haryana, but he had rejected the demand out-rightly, stating that it was not possible under the Act.”
“The Congress raised the demand for forming HSGPC during the recently concluded general elections and they lost all the 11 seats. Neither the people of Haryana in general nor the Sikhs of that state in particular want a separate panel,” added the CM.
Badal said that the Congress was demanding a separate SGPC for Haryana just to woo the Sikh votes in the coming state assembly elections. “It’s mere an election stunt of the Congress,” he added.