Haryana SGPC row: Akalis term it assault on Khalsa Panth

Chandigarh : Terming it a “sinister move of the Congress government in Haryana to dilute, divide and break up the supreme, sacred and historic” SGPC, Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal Tuesday said the move to set up a parallel body was a “direct assault on the Khalsa Panth (Sikh religion), its history, traditions and spiritual values”.

“It appears that the Congress party has not learnt any lessons from the fate met by the enemies of the Khalsa Panth since the times of Ahmad Shah Abdali. On the contrary, it is as if the spirit of Abdali had descended again into the leaders of the anti-Sikh Congress party, including the present modern subedars in Haryana like (chief minister) Bhupinder Singh Hooda,” said a resolution passed at an emergency meeting of the Akali Dal core committee here Tuesday evening.

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The Haryana assembly had Friday passed a bill under which a new Haryana Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC) would be set up to manage gurdwaras (Sikh shrines) in Haryana. The Haryana Sikh Gurdwaras (Management) Bill, 2014, got the governor’s assent Monday.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar and other senior Akali Dal and SGPC leaders attended the meeting.

In another resolution, the Akali Dal said that Punjab would not share a single drop of water with Haryana. This was in response to a move by the Haryana government to urge the central government to complete the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal to bring more water to Haryana.

“Punjab could not allow sharing a single drop of its river waters with Haryana as it was already facing acute water scarcity. The state government would never budge an inch from its earlier universally accepted riparian principle as far as the sharing of river water between Punjab and Haryana was concerned,” the resolution said.

Giving details of the meeting to media, Akali Dal general secretary Harcharan Bains said his party was firmly of the view that the action of the Haryana government for setting up a separate committee for Haryana gurdwaras was not only a “flagrant violation of the constitutional provisions but also a highly provocative interference in the religious affairs of the Sikh community”.

Asking the central government to “intervene effectively, urgently and immediately”, the party said that the move by Haryana had created a “critical situation”.

“The Haryana chief minister has challenged the honour of the great Sikh Qaum (community) and the Khalsa Panth accepts the challenge. We will confront him at every step and will never allow him to succeed,” the resolution said, adding that the move will endanger peace in the region.