Amid allegations that his family was politically controlling the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal Monday said the SGPC was not anyone’s “personal property” and it was the Sikh community that elects the representatives to the organisation that manages gurdwaras in three states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
“Badal family has no control over the SGPC. It is not someone’s personal property. Elections on the lines of parliamentary polls are held and the Sikh voters elect their representatives for five years,” Sukhbir said. His remarks at the Maghi Mela in Muktsar, comes two days after HS Phoolka, who has been representing victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in courts for the last three decades, launched a non-political outfit with the prime motive of freeing the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) of political control.
Launching his outfit, Sikh Sewak Army (SSA), Phoolka had said, “The Badal family is controlling the SGPC. No reform in Punjab is possible until SGPC is freed from the clutches of the Badal family. The SSA will work to free the SGPC and evolve a system that it could never be controlled by the political bosses.”
The ruling Congress party in Punjab and the SAD (Taksali) have also accused the SAD in general and the Badal family in particular of controlling the SGPC. “The so called ‘panth’s saviours’ contest the (SGPC) elections and get their security deposits forfeited. If voters are happy with candidates of one party again and again, then what is the problem of the B-team of the Congress and the back stabbers,” Sukhbir said in apparent reference to the Bargari Morcha organisations and SAD (Taksali).
SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal too used the platform to hit out at the Congress calling it the “biggest of enemy” of Punjab as well as Sikhs. “I have 80 years of experience in politics and according to my experience, Congress is the biggest enemy of Punjab and even the Sikh community. They attacked the Golden Temple and now it is stooping too low to seize control of the SGPC and other Sikh institutions. It is trying to create division among the Sikhs by colluding with anti-Sikh forces to achieve this goal,” he said.
Sukhbir accused Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh of being inaccessible and not meeting the public. He also targetted his estranged cousin Manpreet Badal saying that the “Congress will not come to power again if (Manpreet) continues to be the finance minister.”
‘Vote for Modi’
Earlier, the senior Badal urged people to give a second term to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that he has done several works for Punjab.”Khalsa panth can never forget his contribution in fulfilling a long pending desire of every Sikh to have hassle-free access to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan. He also delivered justice to victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots by setting up an SIT to reopen the cases closed by the successive Congress governments,” he said. “We never forget the people who had ever sympathised with our community by their noble acts. Modi ji has won our hearts with his noble gestures and we want to see him as prime minister for the second term,” he said adding, “We should now express our gratitude by winning (with all the BJP) all the 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state”.