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Posted at: Sep 15, 2018, 1:51 AM; last updated: Sep 15, 2018, 1:51 AM (IST)

Sidhu asks Akal Takht to excommunicate Badals

Accuses them of conniving with Sirsa dera, undermining clergy’s authority
Sidhu asks Akal Takht to excommunicate Badals
Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu hands over a letter to an official at the Akal Takht secretariat in Amritsar on Friday. Photo: Vishal Kumar

GS Paul

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 14

Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday asked Akal Takht to excommunicate former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal from the Panth for their alleged role in ordering firing on anti-sacrilege protesters in 2015 and “misusing” the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs for political gains.

Sidhu, who was accompanied by state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, handed over a four-page letter to an assistant of Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh at the Akal Takht secretariat. The Jathedar was not present during Sidhu’s visit.

In the letter, Sidhu accused the Badals of conniving with the Dera Sacha Sauda and flouting Akal Takht’s 2007 “hukamnama” against the sect. He accused then Home Minister Sukhbir Badal of going soft on dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim and forcing the Akal Takht Jathedar to grant pardon in a blasphemy case.

“I approached Akal Takht as a voice of the Sikh community whose sentiments were hurt due to the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib, the police firing on peaceful protesters and undermining the institution of Akal Takht to please the Sirsa dera head. No action was taken during their decade-long rule (2007-17). Who are they (Badals) to summon Takht Jathedars to the CM’s house to direct them to exonerate the Sirsa dera head?” Sidhu said.

“These misdeeds were committed by then CM Parkash Singh Badal and SAD chief Sukhbir Badal for votes. I have urged the Jathedar to pronounce exemplary punishment of excommunication to the father-son duo in the interests of the Panth,” he said, accusing the Badals, chiefly Sukhbir, of striking a multi-crore deal with Ram Rahim, who was pardoned a day before his movie “MSG-2” was released in Punjab in September 2015.

Jakhar said Sidhu would pursue the case for religious punishment, while the Congress would take legal recourse.

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