Age-long bonds between the BJP and the Shiromani Akali Dal are under strain. Primarily because the BJP government at the Centre has failed to ameliorate the plight of farmers that has been a core support bank of the SAD. It was reflected glaringly in the manner farming community voted against the BJP in the Hindi heartland, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, where the BJP lost power to the Congress. The BJP-Akali alliance was forged way back in 1969 when Parkash Singh Badal became chief minister for the first time.
Then, of course, it was the Akali-Jan Sangh alliance which has since then weathered many a storm to stay together.Now, an immediate rancour has come about strongly in Maharashtra with the controversy around Takht Shri Hazur Sahib, which is one of the five Takhts held in highest esteem by the Sikhs.It was triggered last year after the Maharashtra government amended the Nanded Sikh Gurudwara Sachkhand Shri Hazur Apchalnagar Sahib Act, 1956, whereby it arrogated to itself the power to appoint the president of the managing committee.
Last year itself after Tara Singh was appointed president of the managing committee, former chief minister Parkash singh Badal had taken a strong exception to it and had sought intervention of the Centre as well as that of the BJP high command.As he was assured by the BJP high command that the matter would be sorted out next year, the SAD chose to keep quiet on the matter. But this time around, after the expiry of one-year term of Tara Singh, the matter has come to boil once again with stronger vehemence. Jathedar of Takht Hazur Sahib, Giani Kulwant Singh, last week led a march to the office of the deputy commissioner to register a strong protest against the state government.Senior SAD leaders feel that the RSS’s Sikh front, the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, has been playing the role of a spoilsport. SAD spokesperson Dr DS Cheema said it seemed that the BJP was dancing to the tunes of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat which has been making covert attempts to take the Hazur Sahib gurdwara under control.”It would spark immense rancour between the BJP and the SAD and it could lead to any situation with serious political fall-outs”, said Dr Cheema indicating vociferously that the political alliance between the BJP and the SAD could also come under threat in the given situation.
In New Delhi, the SAD spokesperson and party MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa slammed the BJP for installing its own people at Takht Hazoor Saheb, Nanded, and said “the sanctity of our shrines is more important to us than positions and alliances. If the BJP doesn’t stop interfering in gurdwaras, we will not hesitate in sacrificing our alliance.”Significnatly, the SAD had recently petitioned BJP chief Amit Shah against the inclusion of three central government nominees in the management of Patna Sahib Gurdwara.”Sikhs across the world are agitated with this attempt of the BJP Government to capture our gurdwaras. We don’t want MP, MLA positions. We don’t want alliances. In the path of religious duty nothing matters more to us than our service to the Panth. We are constrained to warn the BJP against this interference,” Sirsa added.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook