July 6, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Kaithal, Haryana (July 06, 2014): Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today cleared the decks for the formation of separate Gurdwara Committee for Haryana by announcing to bring in legislation for formation of Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC).
A bill in this respect would be brought in Haryana Vidhan Sabha on July 11, 2014, he announced. The announcement came in the presence of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Partap Singh Bajwa and former DSGMC president Paramjit Singh Sarna.
In his brief address, before a gathering of thousands of Sikhs from Haryana, Hooda said that his government’s decision can’t be termed as intervention in Sikh affairs and he was only honouring the sentiments of the Sikhs of Haryana who want to control and manage Gurdwaras in Haryana as a matter of right.
Hooda announced to bring the bill and asked the audience to confirm and celebrate it with ‘Jo Bole So Nihaal, Sat Siri Akaal’ which the enthusiastic audience seemed more than eager to do.
The announcement came despite strong protests by Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) besides several other Sikh bodies and leaders.
By going ahead to announce the formation of separate Gurdwara Committee, the Hooda government has went one step ahead to fulfil its promise made to Haryana Sikhs in manifesto of the Congress party.
Speaking before announcing to bring the bill, Hooda said that he is committed to take the decision as per the sentiments of the Sikhs of Haryana.
He said that he has taken the decision thoughtfully and after getting the report of Chatha Committee. It may be recalled that Hooda had formed a panel led by Haryana cabinet minister Harmohinder Singh Chatha.
The chief minister claimed that lakhs of affidavits were filed before Chatha Committee asking for a separate Gurdwara panel in Haryana but not even a single affidavit was filed against it.
Hooda did not utter even a word against even as he mentioned the names of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar.
He said that these two leaders have been issuing statements against him he has respect for them. “They may or may not have respect for me but I do expect that they respect the sentiments of Sikhs of Haryana”, he said.
Asking a straight question to Badal and Makkar, Hooda said, “Do the Sikhs of Haryana have lesser devotion in the Gurus than anybody else and are they not dedicated to Akal Takht?”
Hooda said that he would be bringing a bill regarding the HSGPC in the forthcoming session of Haryana Vidhan Sabha on 11th of July.
Hooda said that it would be a body like the SGPC which would give the right of doing ‘Sewa’ to Sikhs of Haryana. “Elections to this body would be held as these are held for SGPC and whoever wins will have the right to control and manage the Gurdwaras”, he said.
Hooda who remained on the stage for around two hours, first listened to the Sikh leaders, Jhinda, Nalwi and former DSGMC president Paramjit Singh Sarna besides Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Patap Singh Bajwa, Haryana minister Randeep Singh Surjewala, Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar, former MP Naveen Jindal and members of Hooda Cabinet were present too.
A small group of Sikhs staged protest against the move by showing black flags to Hooda on his arrival. Six men from this group were detained by police.
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