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Badal opposes BJP legislator as Maharashtra Sikh shrine head
Sunday April 5, 2015 0:41 AM, IANS

Chandigarh: Just a day before his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis is likely to visit Punjab, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi opposing the "imposition" of a BJP legislator in Maharashtra as head of the managing board of Takht Hazoor Sahib, one of the five high seats of Sikh religion.

Terming the appointment of Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Tara Singh, a Sikh, as the chief of the Takht management board as a step in violation of the 'Sikh Maryana'(religious code of conduct) and a direct interference in Sikh religious affairs, Badal urged Modi to intervene in the matter.

In his letter to Modi, Badal said that the move of the Maharashtra government was in complete violation of Sikh religious code and would hurt their religious sentiments, as there was no precedent of a non-baptised person heading the managing board of an important Sikh shrine.

The shrine is located in Nanded in Maharashtra and is associated with the tenth Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh.

Badal urged Modi to direct the Maharashtra government to review and completely reverse its decision.

"This was a completely avoidable provocation that could have a bearing on the precious ideals of communal harmony in the country," Badal warned in his letter, adding that only a baptised Sikh could hold the position.

"It was unthinkable for the Sikh masses to see a non-baptised person heading a holy religious Takht of their community," Badal added.

He said that the present development was "an off-shoot of the decision of the previous Congress government in Maharashtra to drastically reduce the representation of the supreme Sikh religious parliament, the SGPC (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee), and the iconic Sikh heritage body, the Chief Khalsa Diwan, on the historic Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib".

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