Rajnath Singh earns Sikhs' ire over separate community body

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New Delhi, Aug 21 (UNI) BJP president Rajnath Singh's reported opposition to constitution of a separate Sikh body earned him stinging criticism from the Sikh community here today.

Speaking to mediapersons here, Paramjit Singh Sarna alleged that the BJP president vowed at a rally in Punjab yesterday to stall constitution of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, independent from Punjab.

Mr Sarna is president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management and Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi).

He addressed the media along with Jagdish Singh Sinda, president Haryana Akali Dal and Haryana Gurudwara Committee.

They both claimed overwhelming support of their community across the country for a separate Sikh body in Haryana.

The Sikh leaders were particularly annoyed over interference of a national political party into the religious affairs.

However, they saw through the opposition. According to Mr Sarna, ''It is not Mr Singh who was speaking. He couldn't have anything to gain or lose. He is speaking on behalf of Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal. The words were Badal's and the mouth was his''.

The BJP president agreed to serve Mr Badal because it suited well the Sangh Parivar's agenda of saffronising the Sikh community, he alleged adding, ''we will defeat the design''.

When asked to elaborate further, both the leaders described the BJP and Mr Badal 'decidedly anti-Sikh'.

They wondered as to why Mr Badal didn't want there to be a state Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee in Haryana when the community in the state yearned for it.

According to them, Mr Badal's opposition stems from loss of control over a huge swathe extending up to Harayana.

Calling upon Mr Singh to stop heckling the community, both the leaders threatened to boycott the party in the Lok Sabha polls.

''The BJP will draw zero when the Lok Sabha elections are held next year unless they mind their own business'', said Mr Sinda.

UNI SSS SK HT1725

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