Parkash Singh Badal trying to flare up situation, says Partap Singh Bajwa

Chandigarh, July 20 : Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa Sunday said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was trying to flare up the situation in Punjab and Haryana over the issue of creation of the Haryana Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC). In a statement here, Bajwa lashed out at Badal for trying to exploit Sikh sentiments in Punjab.

Bajwa said the chief minister was doing this to divert attention as his government had totally failed to meet the aspirations of the people. He said the Badal government was known for non-performance and brazen corruption. He said Badal was trying to play with the sentiments of the people, especially the Sikh community, by announcing an agitation against the recent move by the Haryana government to set up the HSGPC.

“Badal has always used Sikh politics to further interests of his own and that of his family through such agitations. It is the common Sikhs who have been making sacrifices and going to jails,” Bajwa said. The Haryana assembly Friday passed the Haryana Sikh Gurdwaras (Management) Bill, 2014, under which a new committee would be set up to manage gurdwaras (Sikh shrines) in Haryana. The bill got the assent of the Haryana governor Monday.

The Amritsar-based Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the mini-parliament of Sikh religious affairs, which controls gurdwaras across Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, will lose control over 72 gurdwaras in Haryana with the new law in Haryana. The SGPC, which has a Rs.950-crore annual budget, controls majority of the gurdwaras in Punjab, including the holiest of all Sikh shrines ‘Harmandar Sahib’ (popularly known as Golden Temple) in Amritsar.