SGPC pays ₹1crore to CA, Sukhbir’s firms get free service: Dhindsa
Chandigarh A week after he was expelled from Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa on Monday made a sensational claim that the chartered accountant firm that is paid ₹1 crore annually by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to audit its accounts also looks after the accounts of Sukhbir Singh Badal’s firms for free.
Dhindsa said this while addressing the media in Chandigarh during the release of a book by former SGPC chief secretary Harcharan Singh, who was handpicked in August 2015 by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal for the job but he had to resign in July 2017 after facing opposition.
He said the SGPC spent ₹12 core on arrangements in Sultanpur Lodhi for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak last year, and the contractor has furhter jacked up the bills by ₹3.5 crore. The SGPC, however, has not cleared the payment so far.
“Also, the SGPC paid ₹25 lakh to Badals’ company for the live telecast of the event. The LED screens fixed at the venue could have easily been procured for ₹4-8 lakh, but the SGPC paid ₹25 lakh in the name of live telecast,” Dhindsa said, who, for the first time, made personal attacks on Badals.
He said the trigger behind his severing ties with the Badals was refusal to his suggestion of not holding a parallel rally in Kotkapura in 2015 when Sikh organisations were already sitting on protest in Bargari against the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib.
“I told Badal Saab (Parkash Singh Badal) not to hold rally because that was not in the right spirit keeping the Sikh sentiments in mind, but he refused to accept my suggestion and the Akali Dal went ahead with the rally. I then told Badal Saab that I can’t go with the party any further,” Dhindsa said.
Sikh historian Prithipal Singh Kapur, Harcharan Singh, former Akal Takht Jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh and Sikh scholar Balkar Singh were also present at the event.
Reacting to Dhindsa’s allegations, SAD spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said that he never expected that Dhindsa will stoop this low. “The allegations are baseless and have no meaning,” he said.
In his 160-page book ‘Present scenario of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee’, Harcharan Singh has criticised the jathedars for not doing their duty and SGPC’s process of recruitment, staff’s promotions, purchases and budget making.
“We will examine the book and take necessary action,” said Cheema.
Harcharan Singh said he has highlighted the shortcomings he experienced during his two-year tenure in SGPC and given the Sikhs a document for course correction.
SCATHING Speaking at a book launch, Rajya Sabha member says SGPC paid ₹25 lakh to Badals’ firm for live telecast of Sultanpur Lodhi event organised to mark 550th birth anniv of Guru Nanak