The proposed march to parliament was scheduled to be held on the first fortnight of May.
Senior Punjab BJP leader Harjit Singh Grewal has alleged that the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) is getting involved in the farmers’ agitation and giving a religious colour to the protest. He said that the SGPC is going against its mandate. The BJP leader’s reaction came after SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur recently said that the religious body will be setting up temporary sheds with fans for farmers protesting at Delhi borders.
In a letter to Kaur, Grewal said that the prime role of the SGPC is to manage the affairs of the gurdwaras. He said that by getting involved in the farmers’ agitation, the SGPC is going against the mandate given to it under ‘The Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925’ and ‘Punjab Act 8 of 1925′. He claimed that by involving in the farmers’ protest, the SGPC is giving a religious colour to the ongoing agitation and the move is ‘extremely unfortunate and uncalled for’.
According to The Indian Express, Grewal wrote in the letter that Kaur’s statement can have serious repercussions and could prove to be extremely detrimental for the peace of Punjab. “History will not forgive you for giving a religious colour to this agitation,” he said.
However, Grewal’s remark drew sharp reactions from SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur. Kaur said that the SGPC is well aware of its duties and Grewal should keep his advice to himself. Kaur went on to blame the BJP for farmers’ woes.
She said that farmers are on the brink of disaster due to the arbitrary behaviour of the BJP government and Grewal should stand with the farmers at this time rather than questioning the organisations helping the farmers.
On March 4, Kaur had announced the continuation of langar and moveable toilet facilities at protest sites. She had also said that the families of the deceased farmers would be given Rs 1 lakh each by the SGPC.
The SGP chief claimed that Grewal’s statement reflects his ignorance of the teachings of Sikh Gurus who always gave priority to sewa and taught to stand with the society.
Thousands of farmers are protesting at Delhi borders for over three months against the three newly enacted farm laws, which were put on hold by the Supreme Court of India. The BJP had faced a setback in the recently held municipal and local bodies elections in Punjab.