Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his Haryana counterpart Bhupinder Singh Hooda crossed swords over management of gurdwaras in Haryana by setting up a separate committee.

Reacting to Mr. Hooda’s recent statement on the issue, Mr. Badal said on Sunday that the Shiromani Akali Dal would oppose the move tooth and nail. He warned the Congress against interfering in the religious affairs of the Sikhs. Mr. Hooda accused Mr. Badal of misleading the people of Haryana during the recent general elections. He said Mr. Badal promised that one of the Indian National Lok Dal MPs would be inducted in the Central Cabinet soon after Mr. Modi became Prime Minister.

Mr. Badal said that the Akali Dal would not tolerate any attempts to weaken the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee, which manages its shrines. He said the SGPC had achieved this after making sacrifices during a prolonged struggle against the “mighty British Raj”.

The SGPC, which was set up under the provisions of the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925, manages the affairs of the shrines and some educational institutions across Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. The Punjab Reorganisation Act 1966, under which the States of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh were carved out of the erstwhile united Punjab, does provide for setting up of a separate committee for gurdwaras in Haryana.

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