Keep away from Sikh religious matters, Badal tells Congress

June 24th, 2010 - 7:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Samana (Punjab), June 24 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Thursday asked the Congress party not to interfere in the religious matters of the Sikhs with an eye to the forthcoming Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) general elections.
Addressing a public rally in this town in Patiala district, 110 km from Chandigarh, Badal said the Congress was trying to wrest control of the SGPC, the mini-parliament of Sikhs, through its ‘B’ team comprising of Delhi State Gurdwara Management Committee president (DSGMC) Paramjit Singh Sarna and Akali Dal-Amritsar president Simaranjit Singh Mann.

“It is not surprising but ironical that the Congress, which claims to be a secular party, is deliberately encroaching upon the jurisdiction of Sikh religious matters by indirectly lending support to Sarna and others in the SGPC elections,” he said.

Badal said the Congress party could not befool the people of Punjab, especially Sikhs, as successive Congress governments at the centre and in the state had betrayed the people of Punjab.

He charged the Congress government in neighbouring Haryana with trying to interfere in SGPC affairs by allowing the setting up of a separate SGPC for that state.

The Amritsar-headquartered SGPC controls most gurdwaras (Sikh temples) in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, including the holiest of Sikh shrines ‘Harmandar Sahib’ (popularly called Golden Temple) in Amritsar.

DSGMC chief Sarna Wednesday claimed that the Akali Dal was resorting to malpractices in enrolling of new voters for forthcoming SGPC polls.

The central government has not yet announced the elections to the SGPC. These are likely to be held early next year.

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