Terming the move to amend the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Act as an "ill-conceived" one, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today asked Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to explain the rationale behind the step.
"Before questioning the role of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in the affairs of Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC), the Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit must explain the rationale behind their ill-conceived move of amending the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Act, 1971, enacted by the Parliament of India," Badal told reporters here.
SAD had every right to participate in the affairs of the DSGMC "because we had fought valiantly in the Gurudwara Reforms movement," he said, adding that the party's leaders had made "sacrifices" after which the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) could be constituted.
The Delhi Chief Minister should not "forget" that SAD was contesting the DSGMC elections ever since its inception due to which they were fully entitled to raise voice against "any interference by the government in the religious affairs of the Sikhs," he said.
The proposed amendment by the Congress government at Delhi was a direct onslaught on the rights of Sikhs, Badal alleged while also saying that he has raised the matter with the Prime Minister and urged him to desist the government from taking this "disastrous step."
Dikshit had yesterday told reporters in Ludhiana that Badal "should not interfere in the affairs of Delhi Gurdwara elections."
She had also strongly refuted the charge that the Delhi government had anything to do with the violent clash that took place at Gurdwara Rakabganj Delhi on Thursday.
Badal also alleged that DSGMC Chief Paramjeet Singh Sarna was the 'B' team of the Congress.
"Ulterior motive of the Delhi government behind the proposed amendment is to further delay the General Elections of DSGMC, which were scheduled to take place in January last year," he accused.
The proposed amendment, which would pave way for the direct election of the president of DSGMC, was in contrast to the basic spirit of the Constitution as there was no provision for a direct election of president in any of the elected constitutional bodies in the country, he said.