Won’t interfere in Darshani Deodi demolition matter, says Capt Amarinder

CHANDIGARH, APRIL 3: Even as he termed it as an unsavoury and unfortunate incident, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ruled out interference by his government in the matter relating to the demolition of the historic ‘Darshani Deodi’ at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Tarn Taran, saying it was a religious issue which fell in the exclusive domain of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

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Reacting to the controversy triggered by the demolition of the century-old main entrance structure by a Baba Jagtar Singh Kar Sewa wale group, the Chief Minister made it clear that his government would not interfere on the issue, which came under the sole purview of the SGPC – the mini parliament of Sikhs.

As a secular party, the Congress did not believe in any sort of religious interference, said Captain Amarinder, adding that his government was completely aligned to the party principles and did not stand for interference of any kind in matters of faith. The SGPC alone could take any decision on the issue, which was a religious matter and hence, required to be treated as such, he added.

Responding to queries from the media and other quarters, including the opposition, on the issue, the Chief Minister asserted that, as in the past, his government and the Congress party would continue to distance itself from religious issues that came under the SGPC’s purview. Captain Amarinder stated unequivocally that his government had no intention of getting into what was solely a religious controversy.

Political interference in religious matters was against the basic spirit and ethos of the Indian Constitution, which the Congress as well as his government were committed to upholding at all costs, the Chief Minister said. An elected government could step in only if a religious issue assumed disruptive proportions and needed intervention to ensure the maintenance of law and order in the state, he added.

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