Badal expresses anguish over proposed GPC in Haryana

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Hoshiarpur, Jan 21: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today expressed his anguish over the proposed formation of a separate Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (GPC) in Haryana.

"Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhk Committee (SGPC) is the only national level body of the Sikh religion to look after the religious matters of the Sikh community and the proposed formation of a separate GPC in Haryana is only to debilitate the Sikh community by dividing it which will not be tolerated," Mr Badal said.

A committee under Haryana Agriculture Minister Harmohinder Singh Chattha was formed for the proposed separate GPC in Haryana. The committee will submit its report to the ruling Congress government before the budget session. A bill is expected to be tabled in this regard in the Haryana assembly in the forthcoming budget session.

Addressing mediapersons at Badla village, 20 Km from here, the Chief Minister said that as per the Sikh Gurdwara Act, any matter related to the Sikh religion has to get resolved by the two-third majority of the SGPC. The proposed formation of GPC was an intrusion into the religious affairs of Sikhs, he added.

"Moreover, there had been a pact between late Master Tara Singh and late Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru on this issue for avoiding any interference in the religious matters of Sikhs," Mr Badal said.

Mr Badal had recently met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and had apprised him about the ''hurt feelings'' of the Sikhs over the proposed GPC in Haryana.

Mr Badal said Sikhs were against the formation of a separate committee for them in Haryana, as they wanted All India Gurdwara Act, not separate Gurdwara committees in the country.

Replying to a question regarding his proposed selection as a convener of the NDA constituents in place of George Fernandes, Parkash Singh Badal said that he was not interested in the national level politics.

He would continue in state politics to serve the people of Punjab, he stresed.

UNI

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