Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Friday asserted that the Sikhs will not succumb to the “politically-motivated” tactics of the Congress to divide them by creating a separate committee to manage gurdwaras (Sikh shrines) in Haryana.
Badal told reporters in Mohali, 10 km from here, that the Shiromani Akali Dal was not in favour of ‘morchas’ (agitational methods) but would not allow anti-Sikh forces to weaken Sikh institutions.
“The separate committee for management of gurdwaras in Haryana would never happen in reality. It is a deliberate attempt to divide the Sikhs and dilute their institutions. The Sikh Panth would never succumb to these politically motivated tactics of Congress but was ever ready to give them a befitting reply,” he said.
Badal said that the next course of action would be decided Sunday (July 27) after the world Sikh conference called in Amritsar by the Akali Dal.
The Akali Dal and the Amritsar-based Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) are locked in a bitter controversy with the Congress government in Haryana over the creation of the Haryana Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC).
The Haryana assembly had June 11 passed a bill under which a new committee would be set up to manage gurdwaras (Sikh shrines) in the state. The Haryana Sikh Gurdwaras (Management) Bill, 2014, got the assent of the governor June 14.
The SGPC, the mini-parliament of Sikh religious affairs, which controls gurdwaras across Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, will lose control over 72 gurdwaras in Haryana with the new law in Haryana.
The SGPC, which has a Rs.950 crore annual budget, controls majority of the gurdwaras in Punjab, including the holiest of all Sikh shrines ‘Harmandar Sahib’ (popularly known as Golden Temple) in Amritsar.
Badal has warned of an agitation over the issue and said it could disturb peace in the region.