KARNAL, Haryana—Leaving a major setback for Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) ruled by Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), one of its elected members, Bhupinder Singh Assandh has revolted on the issue of separate Gurdwara committee for Haryana. He has openly announced support for formation of a separate committee in Haryana.
Bhupinder Singh Assandh is an elected member of the SGPC from Karnal. Haryana has eleven total members that have representation in the SGPC, which also manages affairs of Gurdwaras in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, besides those in Punjab.
Alienating himself from his party’s stand, Bhupinder Singh lashed out at SGPC chief Avtar Makkar for playing with the emotions of the Sikh community in Haryana.
Talking to media persons, he alleged, “Makkar is playing into the hands of the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Badal and his his son Sukhbir Badal who are harming the interests of the Haryana Sikhs.” He added, “The feelings of Haryana Sikhs have driven me to support the demand for a separate Gurdwara committee and I will campaign for it. I will participate in the maha sammelan to be held in Kaithal on July 6.”
The SAD (B) has been blamed for failing to maintain Gurdwaras in Haryana and providing religious services to the Sikhs there. This is despite the fact that SAD (B) takes away collections from Gurdwaras in Haryana, while it fails to give much representation to the Sikhs here.
Pointing to another alleged discrimination against the Haryana Sikhs, Assandh has alleged that after laying the foundation stone of a school at Dhamtan Sahib and a sub-office of the SGPC in Kurukshetra, the projects had not been worked upon for long. “The construction of an engineering college in Jind has been going on at a snail’s pace.”
Claiming that several members of the SGPC are also supporting this revolt, Bhupinder Singh said, “They had contested the SGPC elections on the assurance that state Sikhs would get their due. But the SGPC and the SAD (B) have always ignored us.” He showed solidarity with all those fighting for the cause.
Didar Singh Nalvi and Jagdish Singh Jhinda, who have been fighting for the cause since a long time, have appreciated the decision taken by Bhupinder Singh of supporting them.
Meanwhile, Makkar said, “Bhupinder Singh is like a brother to me. There are no differences between us. The Congress is interfering in the religious affairs of the Sikhs and is not issuing a no-objection certificate to the SGPC for setting up a medical college in Shahbad.” He did not comment on other allegations and alleged the party will deliberate upon the issue in a meeting.