Parkash Singh Badal, Punjab CM

Badal breaks down; meets Rajnath in Delhi

Chandigarh: Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal broke down at an SAD core committee meeting convened on Tuesday evening to chalk out party’s strategy against the formation of a separate Sikh body in Haryana.

The party is preparing for a decisive action, including launching a morcha, as the leadership, especially Badal, is unwilling to compromise on a separate panel.

Sources in the party said Badal broke down soon after the start of the meeting. He told the party leaders that he would go to any length to stop the formation of a separate committee in Haryana.

“I am willing to go to any length and sacrifice everything (to prevent the Haryana Sikh committee’s formation). I am even prepared to sacrifice my government,” Badal was quoted as saying by one of his associates.

Badal, in fact, stayed away from the crucial Assembly session (in which Budget was presented) today to meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other leaders of the BJP in Delhi.

Sources said Badal conveyed to Rajnath and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that he was prepared to leave the state government to prevent formation of a separate gurdwara panel in Haryana.

However, Rajnath did not give Badal any categorical assurance on his demand to annul the Act passed by the Haryana Assembly to form a separate body, they said.

Rajnath told Badal that the Central Government would take legal opinion to find out possible options. Emerging from the meeting in Delhi, Badal said: “The Home Minister has promised to get the legislative enactment and Governor’s assent to it legally examined.”

“We are trying to exhaust all administrative and legal means to get the issue resolved. The Khalsa Panth will not tolerate the conspiracy of the Congress to divide the community,” he said. He alleged that the creation of the independent Sikh body was a “conspiracy” of the Congress backed by its central leadership.

Badal said he told the Home Minister that the Act was passed illegally by the Haryana Assembly. The subject was part of concurrent list of the Constitution and the legislation should have been vetted by the Union Home Ministry and sent to President for his assent.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by SAD MPs Sukhdev Singh Dhinda, Naresh Gujral, Prem Singh Chandumajra and Sher Singh Ghubaya. Chandumajra said the Home Minister had promised to seek a report from the Haryana Governor regarding the passage of the Act.

Badal’s main argument at the party meeting was that he would not like to go down in the history as the Chief Minister under whose watch the SGPC was bifurcated.

The Home Minister has promised to get the legislative enactment and Governor’s assent to it legally examined.Top(With inputs from Ravi S Singh in Delhi.

Source: HT

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