‘Sikh PM’ card brought into play Statesman News Service Chandigarh, July 13: For the first time, the intervention of the Akal Takht has been sought by leaders of certain Sikh bodies with a view to save the Central government on the nuclear deal. The Akal Takht secretariat has been receiving letters from Sikh leaders of various parties requesting Jathedar Vedanti to issue a directive to Sikh parliamentarians to support the nuclear deal so that the Central government, led by the first Sikh Prime Minister, can be saved. SGPC member and former Akali minister Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, has also written an open letter to SAD chief Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, urging him to direct the Akali MPs to support the nuclear deal, a gesture which would go a long way towards improving the image of the Sikhs all over the world. However, sources said the Akhal Takht Jathedar, Mr Joginder Singh Vedanti was unlikely to issue any directive though such a step would help in giving fresh lease of life to the Central government, headed by the first Sikh Prime Minister. Interestingly, back in May 2004, Mr Manjit Singh, then the SGPC secretary, had showered praise on the Congress president Mrs Sonia Gandhi for nominating a Sikh as PM thereby earning the wrath of Mr Parkash Singh Badal. The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee has meanwhile upped pressure on the Sikh MPs on the issue, shooting off a letter to Mr Vedanti, requesting him to issue a hukamnama to all Sikh MPs to vote for Dr Manmohan Singh. Sikh as PM a non-issue: Badal Jalandhar (PTI): Shiromani Akali Dal supremo Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh being a Sikh was a non-issue and his party would toe the NDA line during the trust vote on the nuke issue in the Lok Sabha. "Don't drag me into non-issues like the Prime Minister being a Sikh," he told reporters here when asked whether his party would vote against India's first Sikh Prime Minister during the confidence vote. "SAD is a constituent of the NDA and we will follow the stand taken by it," the Punjab Chief Minister said. Badal remarks came amid reports that some Sikh bodies have approached the Akal Takht for a directive to community's MPs to support the Prime Minister during the trust vote. It may be recalled that the party had supported former Prime Minister I K Gujral, a Punjabi, and did not field any candidate against him from Jalandhar constituency. The SAD had also supported Gaini Zail Singh, a nominee of the Congress for the post of the President, as he was a Sikh.