NEW DELHI: With an intense face-off between the Punjab and Haryana Governments over the latter’s passing of a legislation paving the way for a separate gurudwara committee for the state, the Centre indicated that it may go for a presidential reference.
In other words, refer the matter to the Supreme Court for advice.
A grim-faced Finance/Defence Minister Arun Jaitley cited the massive build-up in the Akali Dal camp, which is planning a congregation of Sikhs in Amritsar on Sunday to oppose the Act passed by the Haryana Assembly.
Ratcheting up the issue, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has already threatened to resign if the Centre fails to convince the Haryana Government to withdraw the Act under which a separate SGPC for Haryana was created.
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal after meeting Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Jaitley, said, “The Government of Haryana has taken a decision which will basically harm national integration. It is an attack on India’s unity.”
Though the issue has reached a flashpoint, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has refused to give in to the Centre’s advice to withdraw the legislation.
In fact, the Sunday congregation -- almost reminiscent of the Akali-Congress rivalry that had led to Operation Bluestar in 1984 -- was organised after Hooda refused to pay heed to the Central Government. The Union Ministry has informed the Home Ministry that in such a matter the Centre has the power to direct the state.