Even as Lok Sabha polls are approaching very fast, the gap between BJP and its NDA-partners is widening from day to day. In additional to several allies like Shina Sena, Goa’s Gomantak Party and several parties in North East, now it’s one of of the oldest allay, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), has also threatened to end its decades-old alliance.
SAD leadership has given a stern warning to BJP leadership against its interfering in the management of gurudwaras across the country. Almost given an ultimatum to the BJP leadership, SAD spokesperson and Delhi MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa accused the Centre of trying to usurp the power from the Sikh community as far as management of gurudwaras is concerned.
“They first tried interfering in Patna Sahib. It was only due to intervention by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal that they went back on the proposed changes,” Sirsa said in a video message posted on Twitter.
He warned that they will break the alliance if the government doesn’t stop interfering in the functioning of their religious institutions in the country.
Sirsa, also the general secretary of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, complained in his message that the BJP government in Maharashtra had arbitrarily made amendments to a 1956 law in order to retain authority in appointing the president of the management committee involved in handling affairs of Takht Hazoor Sahib in Nanded.
Both Hazoor Sahib in Nanded and Patna Sahib in Bihar are among five gurudwaras which are of special significance to the Sikh community.
He lamented that there is a feeling among minorities that the government is increasingly interfering in the functioning of religious institutions. He also pointed out that there was a growing resentment among the Sikhs world over at the growing interference of the BJP in gurudwaras.
“There is a clear pact that was signed between Master Tara Singh (a founding leader of SGPC) and Jawaharlal Nehru that the government won’t interfere in the functioning of religious institutions,” he added.