Haryana govts move to create separate SGPC rocks Rajya Sabha

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 8 2009, 04:17am hrs
The Rajya Sabha witnessed an uproar on Thursday over the Haryana governments move to bifurcate the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). The protests forced two adjournments in the House.

The protest in the Rajya Sabha began soon after 10 new members were sworn in. Members of the BJP and the Akali Dal demanded suspension of Question Hour to discuss the issue. Finally, two adjournments later, some members were allowed to speak on the issue.

BJPs deputy leader of the Rajya Sabha, S S Ahluwalia, said that any tinkering with the SGPC, the oldest religious body for the Sikhs, would spark passions.

The Haryana government now wants to bifurcate and divide the SGPC through an order. These are attempts to divide the Sikh community. We demand that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Leader of the House give us an assurance on the subject, Ahluwalia said. Tarlochan Singh, MP (Independent) from Haryana, sought to remind the House that this was a religious issue and the government must keep out of it.

It is not about Punjab and Haryana. It is about Sikhs. The government should not interfere in what is purely a religious issue it has been 45 years now since the Haryana state was formed, so why make a move like this now Singh said.

An Akali Dal member warned that a body like the SGPC should not be politicised for electoral mileage and the Sikh community should not be tested on this serious issue. The whole community is together on this. The PM must give us an assurance, he said. The Chair, however, rejected the demand for a PM-level assurance on this issue.