North India Times

Hooda announces separate Sikh body in Haryana

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bhupinder_singh_hooda_annouHaryana, the Chief Minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, on Sunday announced the decision to set up Haryana Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (HSGPC).

A bill to form a separate SGPC which will be in consonance with the aspirations of the Sikhs of the state, will be introduced in the ensuing session of the Haryana Assembly commencing on July 11, The proposed SGPC would be a legal entity.

Hooda made the announcement while addressing a largely attended Sikh Mahasammelan at Kaithal. It is the right of the Sikhs of Haryana to have an independent SGPC, and is in keeping with their sentiments.

Before making the announcement, Mr Hooda sought the opinion of the Sikhs at the Mahasammelan asking them whether they wanted to have a separate management body for their gurdwaras in the state, and, if
they so desire they should give their consent. When Mr Hooda raised the slogan ‘Bole So Nihal’ to seek their opinion, the crowd responded in the affirmative shouting ‘Sat Shri Akal’.

Assuring the Sikhs that there will be no politicalinterference in the affairs of the proposed SGPC, Mr Hooda said that the Haryana SGPC would have an elected body on the pattern of the Punjab SGPC.

Hooda said that he had been daily going through media statements made by the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and the SGPC chief, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar. “I have regards for both and hope that these two leaders, who may not show respect to me, will respect the sentiments of the Sikhs in Haryana.”

Reiterating that the separate SGPC for Haryana would not have any political interference, Mr Hooda said, “We shall uphold the dignity of the Sikhs of Haryana who have been demanding their right. The Sikhs of Haryana have full faith in the Akal Takht and the Sikh Gurus. They want to serve the Gurus and have the management of gurudwaras of the state in their hand”, he added.

A separate SGPC is being set up in Haryana by following due process of law. The government had set up a committee under the chairmanship of the Finance Minister, H.S. Chatha, for setting up a separate SGPC for Haryana. About three lakh Sikhs of Haryana had submitted their affidavits to the committee pressing the demand. The state government then sought legal opinion on the recommendations of  the Chatha Committee before conceding the demand.

Hooda said that the state government had already made it clear that a decision would be taken in keeping with the aspirations of the Sikhs. He was all praise for the massive crowd at the Sammelan and said he fully appreciated their aspirations.

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