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    SAD postpones rally

    Chandigarh (PTI): The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Saturday postponed its rally at Karnal on August 30 in Haryana to oppose proposal of the Congress government in the state to form a separate Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) for managing Sikh shrines in the state.

    SAD led by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was scheduled to hold its rally to oppose the move while some organizations of the Sikhs in Haryana were also scheduled to hold their rally at Karnal on the same day to press their demand for the formation of a SGPC for the state as had been promised by the Congress in its election manifesto for the assembly polls over three years ago.

    The rally has been postponed after an assurance from the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that an "amicable settlement" would be found to resolve the issue, Media Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Harcharan Bains told PTI here today.

    "On the assurance of the Prime Minister we have decided to postpone our rally and wait for the amicable settlement of the issue," he added.

    An SAD delegation led by Badal had met Manmohan Singh in New Delhi yesterday and sought his intervention to prevent establishment of a new panel for managing Gurdwaras in Haryana, as the SGPC, which was formed by an act of the Parliament, presently controls all the Sikhs shrines in the country. Besides the formation of the Haryana SGPC would mean that the Congress was interfering in the religious affairs of the Sikhs, which are to be managed by the SGPC, the SAD said.. On the other hand the Haryana Sikhs have been building pressure on the Bhupinder Singh Hooda led Congress government to set up the separate SGPC for state to fulfill their election promise.

    The committee headed by Agriculture Minister H S Chatha, formed by the Haryana Government, to look into the demands of the Sikhs of the state is expected to submit its report soon.


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