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Badal seeks PM's intervention in Maharashtra govt's move to reconstitute Hazur Sahib gurdwara board

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Chandigarh, Feb 9 (PTI) Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention in the matter pertaining to the Maharashtra government's move to reconstitute the Shri Hazur Sahib gurdwara management board.

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Badal called the Eknath Shinde government's move "provocative and brazen interference" in the Takhat Sachkhand Shri Huzoor Sahib, Nanded, Abchal Nagar, Sahib, Maharashtra through an amendment to the Nanded Sikh Gurdwara Sachkhand Hazur Abchal Nagar Sahib Act, 1956.

"The amendment was piloted by the present Shiv Sena govt in Maharashtra headed by Ek Nath Shinde and passed by the state Legislative Assembly on February 4," Badal said in a statement.

In his letter, Badal pointed out that "as per the new Amendment to the Act, the number of government nominees has been increased from seven to 12 in the board.

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The strength of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee nominated members has been reduced by 50 percent to two.

Similarly, the number of representatives of the Chief Khalsa Diwan and the Huzoori Khalsa Diwan have been totally removed from the Board, he said.

With this, these two historic and representative bodies of the Sikhs would have no representation in one of the highest shrines of their religion, Badal said.

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This has caused avoidable pain and alienation among the devout and patriotic Sikh masses who have always been in the forefront of securing and defending the independence as well as the unity and the integrity of the country, he said.

"We take deep pride in our patriotic fervour and expect it to be acknowledged and respected by the people and the governments in the country," Badal said.

The SAD chief pointed out that one of the key commitments of the government of India to the Sikhs after Independence was that nothing will be done with regard to the management of Sikh shrines or other religious affairs of the Sikhs without the prior approval of the two thirds majority of the general House of the SGPC.

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Meanwhile, SGPC chief Harjinder Singh Dhami on Friday joined a protest launched to force the Maharashtra government to withdraw its decision to reconstitute the gurdwara management board.

The SGPC president, who reached Maharashtra along with senior Akali leader Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, also met the Sri Hazur Sahib Jathedar - Giani Kulwant Singh and discussed the entire issue arising out of the amendment of the Nanded Sikh Gurdwara Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Act, 1956.

Dhami assured the Takhat Jathedar of the unstinted support of the SGPC and the SAD to get this "anti-Sikh" decision reversed. PTI CHS VSD AS AS

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