Chandigarh, Apr 25: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Capt Amarinder Singh today termed the amendment to the SGPC act barring the Sehajdhari Sikhs from casting votes in the SGPC elections as most “unfortunate, regressive and retrograde.” Also Read - COVID-19 in Punjab: Night Curfew in Hotspots, Curbs on Indoor, Outdoor Gatherings From March 1

“This will simply mean slamming your door on hundreds and thousands of Sikhs and dividing the community”, he said in a statement while reacting to Parliament today passing a bill to amend a 91-year-old law to exclude Sahajdharis from voting in the elections to Sikh religious bodies. Capt Amarinder equated this move by the Akalis with their demand for Punjabi Suba which ended in “fragmenting Punjab into small pieces.” (ALSO READ: Amarinder Singh protests cancellation of Canada meetings) Also Read - Get Entire Village to Gherao Against Delhi Police: BKU Leader to Farmers in Punjab

“Like for the narrow sectarian and partisan interests they slashed Punjab into pieces so that they could form the government of their own, which still they never could, they have now repeated the formula to retain their control over the SGPC by virtually throwing out a majority of the Sikhs and virtually dividing the community”, he said. The PCC president said the SGPC, which is running under the “direct control” of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, should better have spent its energy and resources on reforms and educating the youth of the community than taking the easy way out. Also Read - After Maharashtra, 4 Other States Witness Spike in Coronavirus Cases, Centre Says All Must Follow Guidelines | Key Points

The former Chief Minister reiterated that every Sikh, who believes in the tenets of Sikhism, must have the right to vote in the SGPC elections.
“It is an irony that the very democratic legislative procedure has been misused to disenfranchise a large section of the society from exercising their democratic right to vote”, he observed.