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Akali agitation likely to vitiate atmosphere in the region again: Bajwa

Chandigarh: The Punjab Congress President, Mr. Partap Singh Bajwa, today slammed the Chief Minister, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, for trying to vitiate the atmosphere in the region by reverting to the morcha politics on the issue of Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Act. It seemed he had not learnt any lesson from the more than a decade long turbulence towards which this border state was pushed into by him earlier during which thousands of people were killed. Reacting strongly to the decision taken at the core committee meeting of the Akali Dal in which it was decided to organise a Panthic Convention at the Golden Temple complexion July 27 when the launching of morcha would be announced, he attacked Mr. Badal for exploiting this holiest of the holy shrine again for the vested political interests. He said his son and the Shiromani Akali Dal President Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal was already commercially exploiting the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and the Golden Temple. Mr. Bajwa asserted the Haryana Chief Minister Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda had only responded to the aspirations of the Sikhs from his state who, for years, had been demanding their right to manage their shrines. This demand had nothing to do with the Congress. “Mr Badal had been advocating federal set up for years and now he himself is objecting the autonomy sought by the Haryana Sikhs in this case. It is clear Mr Badal has never been sincere to any of the demand of his party. Now he is blaming Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Mr Hooda for this so called interference in the religious demands of the Sikhs. He deliberately overlooks the fact that it is the demand voiced by the Sikhs in Haryana”, he added. He pointed out it was strange that Mr Badal was blaming the Congress for interference in the religious affairs of the Sikhs while he himself met the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi and several of his cabinet colleagues seeking their intervention in Haryana which again amounts to centre’s interference in the religious affairs of the 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. Moreover, this had been provided for under Section 72 of the Punjab Re-organisation Act, 1966. He expressed surprise that it was for the first time that the Akali Dal would launch a morcha against the Sikhs themselves in the neighbouring state. This morcha would not be just against the Haryana government and the Congress. This was the first time that the Akali agitation would trigger an internecine war within the community. He said so far as the interference of the government in religious affairs of the Sikhs was concerned, the Akali Dal itself had sought it by first demanding the Sikh Gurdwara`Act, 1925 and then the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara`Act, 1971. Now in case the Sikhs in Haryana had sought their own body from the government, how could it be construed as religious interference, he asked. He reiterated that Mr. Badal himself was responsible for this situation in which the Sikh community had landed by backtracking from the all India gurdwara legislation which had been the demand of his party for years. He advised Mr. Badal to desist from putting Punjab on fire again. He 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. He said Mr. Modi was talking of cooperative federalism but this practice was just the opposite. This was not only unconstitutional but also unprecedented, he added.
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