With both sides refusing to budge from their stated positions, the row over Haryana government’s decision to create a separate Sikh gurdwara management committee could turn into a major confrontation with the Akali Dal government in Punjab.
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the issue.
Taking to a news channel, Badal dubbed the issue as a constitutional crisis and alleged that the Haryana government has challenged the authority of the government of India by refusing to heed to its missive against the passing of a bill in the state assemblt for creation of a separate gurdwara committee, parallel to the Amritsar-based Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee.
Reports now indicate that the Centre may go for a presidential reference on the matter.
What has raised the heat further is Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal’s hint that he may even step down to lead an agitation. The final decision is expected to be taken at a Sikh congregation in the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar on July 27.
However, the Haryana government appears resolute on its plan to form a separate gurdwara committee and said that those against it can move court.
“In case anyone has an objection, he can challenge it in the Court of law. The court would see whether it is legal and deliver its verdict,” Haryana Chief Secretary SC Choudhary said in a statement.
The Haryana government’s reaction came after the Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami in its letter to Choudhary said the bill passed by the state assembly has “no legal effect” and be withdrawn before any further complications arise.
“As the Governor has already given his assent to the bill, he cannot withdraw it after it has become a Law. A notification for Haryana Sikh Gurdwara (Management) Bill 2014, has already been issued, thus completing the legislative process,” Choudhary said.