Questioning the functioning of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the Congress on Thursday announced to take part in the elections to the apex gurdwara body which the ruling party said has failed in its role of propagating the message of the Sikh Gurus.
Party’s Patti MLA Harminder Singh Gill said, “I am ready to contest the polls to free the SGPC from the control of the Akali Dal. This institution of Sikhism has been politicised because present president Gobind Singh Longowal has contested the MLA election while disgraced Akali leaders like Sucha Singh Langah and Dyal Singh Kolianwali are at the helm of its affairs.”
He said this while speaking on a resolution on bill BJP MLA Som Parkash proposed to prevent exploitation of particular section of society over growing superstition and beliefs.
The apex gurdwara body controls historic gurdwaras in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, including the Golden Temple.
Cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said the SGPC has failed to meet the aspirations of the Sikhs due to which various institutions of the community stood weakened.
Akali MLA Gurpartap Singh Wadala said, “What is the big deal if the elections are due since December 2016? In the past, there was a gap of 19 years between two elections. The Congress is attempting to take control of SGPC, but we will get the majority.”
SAD justifies seeking Takht pardon
Gurpartap Wadala justified his party leadership seeking pardon from the Akal Takht. He was reacting to minister Randhawa who asked the Akali MLAs to explain the reasons behind SAD patron and former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, party president Sukhbir Singh Badal going to the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhism, in December last year seeking forgiveness for the “mistakes they committed in the past”.
“Nobody can question our party seeking forgiveness since mistakes can be pardoned as per panthic tenets,” added Wadala.