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Akali Dal wants Haryana law revoked

New Delhi, July 25 (PTI): Punjab’s ruling party and BJP ally Akali Dal has urged the Centre to revoke a law passed by Congress-ruled Haryana to set up a separate Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), Sikhs’ supreme body for management of gurdwaras.

Punjab deputy chief minister and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal today met ministers Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley, telling them the Haryana law was “unconstitutional” and “illegal” and warning that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal “may even quit if required” on the issue.

Sukhbir’s talks came ahead of a Sunday meeting of Sikhs in Amritsar. The meeting follows Haryana’s refusal to heed a directive from the Narendra Modi government to revoke the law.

“The Haryana government has taken a decision which will harm national integration...it is an attack on India’s unity,” Sukhbir told reporters.

Haryana has brushed aside the Centre’s order to annul the act, saying it had every right to enact such a law and asking Delhi to withdraw its directive instead. This has fuelled talk that Delhi may move a presidential reference to scrap the law.

Akali sources questioned the timing of the move by the Congress government of Haryana, which goes to the polls later this year. They wondered why such a step was not taken when the UPA was in power in Delhi and said former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was opposed to the proposal.

“No party has the right to break the Constitution for political gains. It is up to the Centre now to ensure that there is no constitutional breakdown,” Sukhbir’s wife and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said.