Amid BJP-SAD alliance talks, thousands of Sikhs led by SGPC protest against Maharashtra Govt; Here's why

SGPC protest against the Maharashtra Government is taking place over the new amendments in the Hazur Sahib Board Act 1956.

Amid BJP-SAD alliance talks, thousands of Sikhs led by SGPC protest against Maharashtra Govt; Here's why -

While the talks on alliance between BJP and SAD have reached their final stages, thousands of Sikhs led by SGPC on Friday protested against the Maharashtra Government. SGPC protest against the Maharashtra Government is taking place over the new amendments in the Hazur Sahib Board Act 1956. The high-level joint delegation of SGPC & SAD also expressed solidarity with thousands of Sikhs at Takhat Sachkhand Hazur Sahib, Abchal Nagar Nanded. 

 

A delegation led by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Harjinder Singh Dhami on Friday reached Nanded to join the protest over the proposed amendments to the Nanded Sikh Gurdwara Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Act, 1956, by the Maharashtra government.

 

Other members of the delegation comprised Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Daljit Singh Cheema and SGPC general secretary Rajinder Singh Mehta. The delegation will join the protest being organised by Hazur Sahib ‘sangat’ against the amendment passed by the Maharashtra Cabinet.

 

The Takhat Hazur Sahib in Nanded in Maharashtra is one of the five Takhats (high temporal seats) of Sikhs and is of great historical importance as the 10th Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, passed away there. The decision to amend the Act that will increase the number of the government’s nominees to the religious body’s board has drawn criticism from SGPC president Dhami who said it was “sad, condemnable and a direct interference” in Sikh affairs “which cannot be tolerated”. He has now written a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, seeking an appointment to discuss this issue.

 

Akali Dal leader Cheema said the state government has opened a way to directly nominate 12 out of total 17 members of the board. “The number of members sent by the SGPC has been reduced from four to two and nomination of Chief Khalsa Diwan of Hazuri Sachkhand Diwan has been abolished. Similarly, two Sikh MPs who used to be members of the board has also been denied this right in the new amendment,” he wrote on X.

 

“It’s clear that the state government is going to take full control of the gurdwara board which can’t be tolerated by Sikh community. SAD urged the Maharashtra government to immediately roll back the amendment,” he added.

 

The Global Sikh Council (GSC), a confederation of national-level Sikh organisations, has called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene. It warned that such unilateral decisions of the government, led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, constituted a gross violation of Sikh gurdwara affairs and would not be tolerated by the Sikhs. In a statement, GCC President Kanwaljit Kaur highlighted the “consistent disregard” shown by the ruling dispensation in Maharashtra towards Sikh sentiments.

 

(WITH INPUTS FROM IANS)

 

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