Ignoring strong protests from Amritsar-based Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, the apex religious body of the Sikhs, and Punjab’s ruling Akali Dal and other groups, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday announced enactment of a law to form a separate SGPC for his state.
At a function organised by Sikh leaders from Haryana at Kaithal, Hooda said keeping in view the sentiments and aspirations of the Sikhs in his state, a law will be enacted to form separate panel for his state.
Haryana Assembly will meet in Chandigarh on Friday and the Bill for setting up of a separate SGPC is expected to be introduced.
Hooda said this has been a long-pending demand of the Sikhs of Haryana so that they could have the right to perform “Sewa” in the Gurudwaras in the state.
He was speaking in presence of Punjab PCC chief Pratap Singh Bajwa, Haryana Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala, former Kurukshetra MP Navin Jindal, Haryana PCC chief Ashok Tanwar, former chief of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee Paramjeet Singh Sarna and Sikh leaders from Haryana, including Didar Singh Nalwi.
Hooda said realising that Sikhs of his state had earlier raised a demand for separate Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), he had formed a committee under chairmanship of minister Harmohinder Singh Chattha, himself a Sikh, to go into the issue.
The Committee later gave its report favouring a separate panel for Haryana by breaking away from Amritsar-based SGPC.
He said the Chattha committee had received “lakhs of affidavits” from the Sikhs of Haryana favouring separate SGPC.
Hooda said some people including Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar had opposed setting up of a separate body, but he stressed that while he has highest respect for them, they should realise and understand that this was not a political issue, but one concerning the aspirations and sentiments of the Sikhs of Haryana.
He rubbished the charge that Congress was interfering in the religious affairs of the Sikhs. “It is the question of sentiments of the Sikh community of my state,” he said, adding once again this has been echoed by the Sikhs present in today’s gathering.