Punjab Congress takes exception to allegations of SAD against Sonia

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Chandigarh, Aug 21 (UNI) The Punjab Congress today took exception to the allegations of the Shiromani Akali Dal holding party president Sonia Gandhi responsible for the cropping up of the issue of separate SGPC in Haryana.

The SAD Core Committee had held Mrs Gandhi 'directly responsible' for the potentially explosive developments in Haryana and raised the issue at the Sant Harchand Singh Longowal anniversary at Longowal in Sangrur district yesterday where BJP Chief Rajnath Singh opposed and described the move as ''highly fraught with dangers''.

Congress chief spokesman Bir Divender Singh said ever since Mrs Gandhi took over the reins of the Congress, the relations between the Sikhs of Punjab and Haryana have been very cordial and worth emulating.

The Shiromani Akali Dal and Mr Rajnath Singh should know that the proper forum to address this issue is the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee which came into existence after a long and painful struggle with the Britishers and had been working very effectively in managing the Sikh shrines.

He said the issue had been raised by the members of Sikh community from Haryana with the state government.

The Congress was fully conscious of the fact that any political interference in this issue will snowball into the kind of volatile situation being faced by the government in Jammu and Kashmir and also has the potential to endanger the peace and harmony in both the states of Punjab and Haryana.

He said Mrs Gandhi is a leader with sagacious vision and has always endeavoured for greater inter-faith harmony. ''I would therefore, suggest to the leadership of the SAD and SGPC that they should satisfy the Sikhs of Haryana on their demand for separate SGPC for Haryana, rather than blaming and passing the buck of their failures to the Congress,'' he added.

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