HOSHIARPUR: Whipping up a huge row on Manmohan Singh’s Sikh credentials and in an attempt to counter the Congress party’s propaganda on projecting the prime minister as representative of the community, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee on Wednesday said the PM is not a Sikh, triggering angry protests from Congress leaders. SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar, who said “Manomohan Singh is not a Sikh’’ and kept up the tirade as he addressed an election rally at Hoshiarpur’s Roshan ground in support of BJP candidate Som Prakash, added, “Any Sikh connected with the Congress can never be a true Sikh. Giani Zail Singh, Buta Singh, Darbara Singh and now Amarinder Singh are all examples in front of you.’’ The SGPC said the PM had rejected a list of 20 demands on Punjab and Sikhs some time back. “Even if one demand had been met by the PM, I would have still called him a Sikh who has done something for the community,” Makkar said to a gathering of BJP-Akali supporters. The Congress immediately lashed back saying Manmohan Singh did not need any certificate either from the SGPC chief or the Akalis. Party spokesman Sukhpal Khaira said, “Sikhs supporting the Congress, and who are in large numbers, do not need a certificate from Makkar. In fact, it is most outrageous coming from such a highly placed person and he needs to apologize to the PM and the countrymen, including Sikhs, who take pride in Manmohan Singh leading the country.’’ The remark challenging PM’s religious belief by the SGPC president seems to be part of a well planned strategy to thwart votes coming from here to the Congress because of the PM.