Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) today announced a separate sub-committee to look after Gurudwaras in Haryana as the ruling Congress introduced a Bill in the state Assembly seeking a separate body to manage affairs of Sikh shrines.
Amritsar-based SGPC, considered to be mini-parliament of Sikhs, announced that the separate sub-committee will manage day-to-day functioning of Sikh Gurudwaras in Haryana, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar announced. He also claimed that the Haryana government's move to bring Bill on separate SGPC could not come into force till all legal resources are complete. Makkar also clarified the sub-committee will function under the Amritsar-based SGPC. "The sub-committee will have an elected vice president from the 11 members representing Haryana," he said. Besides, the sub-committee will also have an additional secretary, Makkar said, adding that it would function from a separate office to be set up in Kurukshetra. Makkar also attacked Congress for trying to create a separate SGPC for Haryana. "Congress is trying to create division among Sikhs," he said.
Makkar appealed to the community in Haryana not to "toe" the line of Congress and maintain unity in the community. He also cautioned Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to desist from going ahead with a separate SGPC for "vested political interests". He sought cooperation from Sikhs in Haryana to join hands to strengthen the Amritsar-based SGPC.
The annual income from at least 25 big Sikh shrines in Haryana is to the tune of Rs 30 crore.
Meanwhile, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal claimed at Amritsar that any move to create a separate SGPC through a Bill in Assembly will be a "transgression upon the power of Parliament".
He said that by initiating this step, Congress was again trying to divide the Sikh community, which would not be "tolerated at any cost." He said that the SGPC was the supreme body of the Sikhs, which came into existence after countless sacrifices and no one would be allowed to bifurcate it.