Don’t meddle in gurdwara affairs, SAD warns BJP

NEW DELHI:The ruling BJP found itself under attack from yet another ally with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today warning the party against interference in Sikh religious affairs.

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Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 30

The ruling BJP found itself under attack from yet another ally with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today warning the party against interference in Sikh religious affairs. In a series of tweets, SAD spokesperson Manjinder Singh Sirsa accused the BJP of meddling in the affairs of gurdwaras by trying to install its own persons in gurdwara managements.

“We can sacrifice the alliance but cannot tolerate interference in the religious affairs of the community. Sikh minorities across the world are feeling agitated over attempts by the BJP to try and interfere in Gurdwara Patna Sahib. We stopped that by petitioning BJP chief Amit Shah. Now attempts are being made by the BJP-led Maharashtra Government to install their own person as head of the board of Gurdwara Takht Hazur Sahib, Nanded. 

“This cannot be tolerated. Let the BJP be warned. For us MLA/MP posts are not important. For us, the service of the community is important. If they don’t stop meddling in our religious affairs, we will be forced to take the extreme step,” Sirsa warned in a video message.

The SAD objection is to an amendment to Section 11 of Sri Hazur Sahib Management Act which allows the government to elect gurdwara management chief. Even though the BJP claimed no attempts were being made to “dilute” Sikh shrines, the Akalis remained defiant.

Earlier in the day, BJP leader RP Singh referred to an old tweet by Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, assuring Union Minister Harsimrat Badal on putting on hold the controversial amendment to the Act.

“Some BJP leaders are creating confusion in the media. Our point is reflected in @Dev_Fadnavis tweet also. He says “not to push amendment in winter session”. That means BJP government plans to get amendment done post winter session! The agenda is clear — gaining control of Gurdwara Management,” Sirsa said in another tweet.

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