Chandigarh, Jul 27 : Asserting that creation of a separate SGPC for Haryana was within the jurisdiction of the state, senior Congress leader Amarinder Singh today accused Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal of “undermining” the principle of federalism. “This (creation of separate SGPC) is within the power and jurisdiction of that state according to the Concurrent List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India,” the Congress Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha said in a statement here.

“All through your political life spanning over six decades, you (Badal) have claimed to stand for a strong federal structure with stronger states and now, at the fag-end of your political career, why are you trying to undermine the same principles you claimed were so dear to you all your life?” Amarinder asked Badal. He said in his “kiddish obduracy”, Badal was trying to “coerce the Centre” to set aside the Haryana SGPC Act passed by that state for the management of gurdwaras there.

The former Punjab Chief Minister said according to Entry 28 in the Concurrent List of the Schedule VII of the Constitution of India, the Haryana government, or for that matter any state, is empowered and authorised to legislate on, “charities and charitable institutions, charitable and religious endowments and religious institutions”. He said management of gurdwaras, which Haryana SGPC is mandated to do, comes very much under the definition of “religious institutions”.

Besides, the Haryana government is also authorised to legislate on the issue in accordance to Section 72 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act 1966, he said. Amarinder Singh said all through his political career, Badal has claimed to stand for a strong federal structure and also opposed the abrogation of Article 370, despite being in alliance with BJP. “Is it just for his personal interest of having control over the gurdwara funds in Haryana that he has abdicated all that he stood for?” he alleged. “Or is it like his characteristic double stand on Article 370 which he seeks to protect, but is supporting a party that seeks to abrogate it?” Singh asked.