New Delhi, March 20 : Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today called on the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister Mr P Chidambram separately to impress them for immediately calling the session of Shiromani Gurdara Prabandak Committee (SGPC) to avoid any sort of financial crisis in the ‘Mini Parliament’ of the Sikhs.
The Chief Minister during his meeting with Dr Manmohan Singh at his official residence in 7 Race Course Road and Home Minister Mr P Chindambram at his office in North Block apprised both the leaders that the maiden session of the SGPC was significant as election of the Office bearers of this highly revered organization is to be done in it. He said that if the office bearers of SGPC were not elected by March 31st then financial chaos would prevail in this esteemed organization, which would give a big blow to the psyche of Sikhs. Mr Badal said that the non-passing of the budget by the end of this month would adversely affect the working of more then 340 Gurudwaras falling under the jurisdiction of the SGPC, which would hurt the religious sentiments of the Sikhs.
Talking to the newsmen after meeting both the leaders the Chief Minister said that Sikhs were enraged over the unnecessary meddling by the Congress in their religious affairs. He said that it was unfortunate that firstly the Union government had irrelevantly delayed the SGPC elections for more than two years. However Mr Badal said that after the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had lodged protest against it the Union government was forced to conduct the elections but unfortunately the state leadership of Congress party unsuccessfully tried to capture it in a clandestine manner by hobnobbing with the forces opposed to SAD. “But having failed in their ulterior motives the Congress leadership is now delaying the election of office bearers of SGPC due to which the Sikh community was highly peeved” he added.
Mr Badal said that both the Prime Minister and Home Minister have assured him that they would look into the matter. He expressed hope that the issue would be soon resolved so that any sort of fiscal problem could be avoided in the organization.
On a query regarding the stand of SAD on the proposal of setting up of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), the Chief Minister said that their party was vehemently opposed to any such idea that was infringed the rights of the states. He said that NCTC was designed by the Union government to usurp the powers of the state governments which could not be tolerated. Mr Badal said that in fact the NCTC was a big blow to the Federal structure provided by our Constitution and its sole aim was to turn the country into a unitary state. Making a scathing attack on the Congress the Chief Minister said that the NCTC was not only being opposed by the Chief Minister’s of the Non Congress governments but even the Congress governments in various states were also opposing it adding that due to such policies of UPA government the regional political forces are being preferred by the people across the country. “The need of the hour is that the Constitution of the country should be reframed so as that Federal values are again inculcated in it” he added.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by SGPC President Jathedar Avtar Singh, Rural Development Minister and Panchayat Minister Mr Surjeet Singh Rakhra and Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Mr SK Sandhu