Haryana finance minister Harmohinder Singh Chatha on Monday said Sikhs had the right to have a separate body for the management of Sikh shrines in the state. Talking to media persons on the sidelines of grievance committee meeting at Panchayat Bhawan, Chatha claimed, in his report submitted to the government four years ago, he had appended affidavits of over two lakh Sikhs who had endorsed the demand of separate Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC).
The finance minister added that the government was yet to take final decision on the report. "When Punjab can deny its share of water to Haryana, then why cannot the Sikh community here have the right to manage the gurdwaras in the state,"he argued.
A section of the Sikh leadership has been demanding a separate gurdwara managing committee in Haryana for more than a decade. The Congress included the demand in their manifestos in successive elections.
Earlier, on June 28, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP, Prem Singh Chandumajra, opposed the Congress' move for creating a separate body in Haryana for management of Sikh shrines.
Chandumajra said the move was aimed at dividing the community and added that he would take up the matter with Akal Takht for appropriate action.