Bhajan Lal’s son backs demand for separate Haryana SGPC


Chandigarh: Backing the Haryana government’s proposal for a separate Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) for managing Sikh shrines in the state, Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) chief Kuldeep Bishnoi Friday said the move should not be delayed.

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“We are in full support for a separate SGPC in Haryana. Now when the committee headed by Agriculture Minister H.S. Chatha has also given the green signal, why is Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda waiting for the month of November for its formulation,” Bishnoi said to reporters here Friday.

He accused the chief minister of “playing with the sentiments of people”. “He is not at all devoted to the cause. He is just trying to extract political mileage out of the issue,” added Bishnoi.

Bhupinder Singh Hooda had announced earlier this week that a separate SGPC for Haryana could be set up Nov 1, the state’s formation day.

The SGPC manages all the major Sikh gurdwaras, including the holiest Sikh shrine Golden Temple, or the Harmandar Sahib, in Amritsar.

The issue led to vociferous protests by Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members in parliament Thursday.

On the issue of his brother, former Haryana deputy chief minister Chander Mohan’s return to the family, Bishnoi said: “If our father Bhajan Lal accepts him, we will have no trouble in welcoming him back.”

Bishnoi, son of former chief minister Bhajan Lal, was suspended from the Congress after he floated his own political outfit in 2007.

The father-son duo were upset with the Congress leadership since Bhajan Lal was denied the chief minister’s post after having led the party to one of its biggest victories in the 2005 assembly polls.

The HJC went alone in the recently concluded general elections and won just one of the state’s 10 Lok Sabha seats. The remaining nine seats were bagged by the ruling Congress.

Bishnoi said that there was no rift between the HJC and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) over the division of seats for the next assembly elections.

The two parties had joined hands in June this year, and it was announced that in the next assembly elections the BSP and the HJC would contest 40 and 50 seats respectively.

They also announced that in the next Lok Sabha elections, after five years, the BSP and the HJC would fight four and six seats respectively.