CHANDIGARH: Punjab Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday approached the Sikh's highest temporal body Akal Takht and sought the ex-communication of former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal, president of Shiromani Akali Dal from the Sikh Community (Panth). Sidhu alleged that the two had spared Dera Sacha Sauda followers, involved in sacrilege cases, to get their votes.
In a four-page letter to the Akal Takht written in Punjabi, Sidhu requested Jathedar (high priest) to summon both Badals to Akal Takht and take action against them according to Sikh traditions. "The incidents of sacrilege has taken place in Punjab and these will never be forgotten by the Sikh community ever. These wounds will never be filled. But today I have come before the Akal Takht with a request to punish the culprits of these crimes.''
In his letter, he traced the present crisis in the Sikh religious-political domain to 2007 when Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh dressed as Guru Gobind Singh and a complaint was lodged against him. The incident took place when Badal was the chief minister. However, the investigation, in this case, did not make any progress.
Sidhu accused the Badals of violating the Takht hukamnama calling for a boycott of the Dera. The Sikh conclave at Takht Damdama Sahib in Talwandi Sabo took action as per the Sikh tradition and directed the Sikhs to sever all socio-relations with this Dera.
But this very directive from Akal Takht was repeatedly violated by Badals for vested interests, he wrote. He further wrote that Badals sought the support of the Dera for Sukhbir's wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal in 2009 Lok Sabha elections. The state government filed an application in the court to withdraw the case against Dera chief before the 2012 Assembly elections. No charge sheet was filed in this case for seven years.
Subsequently, Badals managed pardon from Akal Takht for Gurmit Ram Rahim for which Jathedar Gurbachan Singh and his associates were summoned at the official residence of Badal in Chandigarh. This was followed by Dera chief's film MSG-2 the release of which earned Rs 104 crore. Dera Sacha Sauda Gurmeet Ram Rahim is currently lodged in jail
The Badal government took no action, despite incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in 2015 but the Badal government took no action. On the contrary, the Sikhs protesting against sacrilege were fired at by the police at Kotkapura followed by at Behbal Kalan.
He alleged that both Badals have betrayed the Sikhs for which they should be ex-communicated from the Panth.
He submitted this letter at the Akal Takht secretariat in the Golden Temple complex today morning to Bhupinder Singh, assistant to Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh.
Navjot Sidhu along with Punjab Congress President Sunil Jakhar later slammed the father-son duo for using Sikh institutions for personal motives and getting votes of Dera Sacha Sauda followers.
"Badal challenged the supreme authority of the Akal Takht by calling its head to his residence in Chandigarh and pressuring him to pardon the Dera head," he alleged.
Interestingly five-time chief minister Parkash Singh Badal is the only recipient if 'Faqr-e-Qaum Panth Rattan' honour in the history of Akal Takht.