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Punjab Congress slams Akalis over HSGPC row

PTI | Last Updated: Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 21:21

Chandigarh: Punjab Congress on Saturday slammed Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for resorting to "morcha (protest) politics" on the issue of Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Act.

Reacting to SAD`s decision to organise a congregation at the Golden Temple complex on July 27 where a morcha would be announced, state Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa said Badal was "exploiting this holiest of holy shrines again for vested political interests".
It seems Badal has not learnt any lesson from the decade-long turbulence he had pushed this state into, during which thousands were killed, Bajwa said in a statement here.

He alleged that Badal`s son and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal was already commercially exploiting the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and the Golden Temple.

On the HSGPC, Bajwa asserted Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had only responded to the aspirations of the Sikhs of his state who, for years, had been demanding their right to manage their shrines.

"This demand had nothing to do with the Congress," he clarified.
The Congress leader claimed that Badal himself had been advocating federal setup for years and now he was objecting to the autonomy sought by Haryana Sikhs.

Bajwa also hit out at Badal for accusing Congress of interfering in the religious affairs of Sikhs, while he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union ministers seeking intervention in Haryana which amounted to Centre interfering in the religious affairs of Haryana Sikhs.

"It was the Akali Dal which had launched agitation to get a separate Gurdwara Act for Delhi which resulted in the formation of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee. The Sikhs in Haryana had followed their example," he said.

Bajwa advised Badal to desist from putting Punjab on fire again and also flayed the Modi government for directing Haryana Governor to withdraw his consent to the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Bill, saying it was unconstitutional and and an infringement on the constitutional rights of the state.

Modi was talking of cooperative federalism but this practice was just the opposite, he said.

First Published: Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 21:21
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