Karnal, Haryana: Agitated over the “failure” of the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government in forming an independent gurdwara management panel in Haryana, a faction of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (ad hoc) has planned to enter the political arena to challenge the Congress.
Jagdish Singh Jhinda, ad hoc president, said on Tuesday that the new regional party would either contest directly from the Sikh-dominated seats in the parliamentary and assembly elections or would go for an alliance with a like-minded party. A 15-member panel under Jhinda would take a final decision on the political front. Parliamentary constituencies of Karnal, Kurukshetra and Sirsa have concentration of Sikh population, while districts of Ambala and Yamunanagar have a considerable number of Sikhs.
Earlier in the day, the agitating HSGPC members had taken out a procession against the Congress and burnt an effigy in the protest at Committee Chowk here.
The breakaway faction of the HSGPC led by Didar Singh Nalwi had already announced its decision to mobilise Sikhs against the Congress in the next general and assembly elections for delay in the formation of a separate shrine committee.
However, Jhinda clarified that their fight was not against the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government but against the central leadership which was under “undue pressure” from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-led Punjab government. Jhinda alleged that SAD-controlled SGPC’s donations and its religious entity for SAD’s political needs and Akalis had pressurised the central Congress leadership against the separate Sikh committee for Haryana.
“It was the Congress leadership that had made the issue of separating the gurdwara management from the clutches of SGPC, a poll issue in Haryana. When Haryana and HP were carved out of Punjab in 1966, Parliament had ensured Haryana a separate SGPC to manage shrines,” Jhinda said.
He said in 2006 the Hooda government had formed a committee under the-then Haryana assembly speaker HS Chatha which had invited affidavits from Sikhs of the state to know support or opposition of the HSGPC. But, its outcome was not declared and in the absence of the Congress high command consent, the matter was being delayed.