New Delhi: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday accused the Congress leadership of hatching a conspiracy to create a separate Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee for Haryana and urged the Centre to stop the move "initiated" by the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government.
"The Haryana government`s move is illegal and unconstitutional. It was a conspiracy of the Congress high command to divide the Sikh community," he told reporters after a meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Appealing the Centre to urgently do the needful to stall the initiative, Badal said former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had never allowed the Hooda government to create the separate SGPC for Haryana.
The Chief Minister said that the Home Minister has assured him that the Centre will try to do its best to stop the move and has directed the Attorney General to examine the legal issues involved in it.
Badal alleged that the Congress government in Haryana was taking the initiative with an eye on the forthcoming Assembly elections and the Central government must ensure by enacting a law that SGPC remains the only organisation to look after the religious affairs of Sikhs.
"The entire Sikh community is upset with the Hooda government`s move. It is unlawful. Even people of Haryana rejected the Congress nominees in SGPC polls. Their all 11 candidates lost the last SGPC polls. We have asked the Central government to stop Haryana`s move," Badal said.
The Chief Minister said the SGPC came into existence following the 1925 Gurdwara Act after years of struggle and sacrifice by thousands of people against the British ploy to divide the community.
"We cannot allow this to happen. The SGPC is like Sikh Parliament. We cannot tolerate any move to split it," Badal said.
SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar had also accused Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his government of interfering in the religious affairs of the Sikhs by once again raising the issue of a separate Gurdwara committee in Haryana.