CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today strongly condemned Haryana's move on setting up separate SGPC for the state and accused Congress of "meddling" in religious affairs of the Sikhs.
When asked to comment on the announcement made by his Haryana counterpart Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Kaithal on constituting a separate committee for the management of Gurudwaras in Haryana, Badal said, "It was a cheap step aimed at scoring brownie points in the media."
"It is unfortunate that Congress is irrelevantly meddling in the religious affairs of the Sikhs," he said.
"Congress is walking in the footsteps of tyrannical Mughal rule to weaken the Sikh power. After operation Blue Star and anti-Sikh riots of 1984, this was the third major assault of Congress against the Sikh community," 86-year-old Badal told reporters in Patiala.
The Chief Minister alleged that by taking this step Congress has inflicted a "serious blow" to the Sikh psyche "as none of the true Sikh wants any separate committee for the management of Gurudwaras."
Badal said though Haryana government was "completely incompetent" to enact this separate committee, it has taken this step just for political gains.
"This politically motivated step of Haryana Congress will not succeed as the party will be completely routed out in the coming assembly polls of the state.
"I firmly believe that Congress will never succeed in its nefarious designs to divide the Sikh community and this Committee (separate SGPC) will never come into existence," Badal said.
Attacking senior Congress leaders from Punjab - Amarinder Singh and Pratap Singh Bajwa - who have supported Haryana's move, Badal said, "the worst thing is that even these leaders are justifying the decision of their party instead of showing resentment against this irrelevant and unnecessary action."
"These leaders have apparently forgotten the countless sacrifices made by the Sikhs for forming the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee. But for the sake of their narrow political gains these leaders have became puppet in the hands of their party high command and are acting as a tool to weaken the power of Sikhs and are hell bent to tarnish the glorious legacy of Sikh panth," he added.