Centre to CM: Do not mix religion with politics

The Centre on Saturday told Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal not to mix religion and politics. "

"The election to religious bodies is a sacrosanct issue. It should not be mixed with politics," Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari said on Saturday.

He was replying to queries over allegations levelled by Badal who had termed the recent clash between two factions at a Gurdwara in Rakabganj as a "Congress conspiracy to keep possession of Delhi gurdwaras."

Badal had been raising the issue of the proposed move by the Delhi government to recommend direct elections for the post of DSGMC president.

Tewari also accused Badal government in Punjab with misusing central funds.

"I will give the example of my own constituency (Ludhiana) where three years back Rs 50 crore was released for cleaning of the Buddah Nullah. Where that money has vanished, no one knows," Tewari said.

To a question about voices raised within the Punjab unit of Congress demanding a change in leadership, Tewari said such issues are dealt at the level of the Congress President and other senior leaders.

To another question, he said Congress was sure of its victory in Punjab, which had gone to assembly polls in January this year but the results had really come as a surprise to it.

"At the same time, I also want to state that during the past six months, due to the misgovernance of Akalis, the people have realised that they made a mistake of voting them to power. Congress is hopeful of putting up a good show in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls," he said.

To another question, he said many years ago it was his desire to fight the Lok Sabha polls from Chandigarh but now since Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has been a mass leader from this constituency, he would like to work with him closely to ensure all-round development of both Chandigarh and Ludhiana which are located in vicinity to each other.

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