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DSGMC ELECTIONS

Rakab Ganj Sahib devotees hint at triangular contest

No major party will have a majority, according to a school of thought20 Feb 2017 | 1:22 AM

NEW DELHI:Responses from devotees visiting Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib indicate a triangular contest in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections with the foray of Panthak Seva Dal (PSD), which is believed to have the backing of the Aam Aadmi Party.

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Ananya Panda

New Delhi, February 19

New Delhi, February 19

Responses from devotees visiting Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib indicate a triangular contest in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections with the foray of Panthak Seva Dal (PSD), which is believed to have the backing of the Aam Aadmi Party.

Nevertheless, between the two traditional political parties, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) appears to have an advantage over its arch-rival SAD-Delhi led by Paramjit Singh Sarna.

The business community seems to be supporting the incumbent SAD and Manjit Singh GK in many posh pockets (Rajouri Garden, several areas in South Delhi) in the national Capital while the middle class electorate is weighing the pros and cons.

“Badals are going to come back. They have done work in gurdwaras,” says Harpreet Singh, a businessman from Shalimar Bagh.

Another supporter was Joginder Singh from Vishnu Garden. He makes DVDs. When asked about the February 26 elections, he giving the thumbs-up to Manjit Singh GK.

“Manjit Singh GK is going to sweep it. The community has seen the work he has done— the statue of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur on the 300 martyrdom anniversary, Fateh March at Lal Qila and the 1984 memorial here,” says Joginder who offers prayers with his family at Rakab Ganj every Sunday.

However, Balbeer Singh from Chander Vihar and secretary of Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha predicts the votes are going to be divided and no major party is going to have a majority. His take is rooted in the emergence of independent candidates (184 of the total 335 contesting to elect 46 of the total 53 members of the DSGMC) who he maintains are going to spoil the usual poll equations this time.

Contrary to this, at the historic gurdwara located close to Parliament were some visitors who consider that largely people contesting independently do it for receiving some name among the Sikh community.

But there were also many like visitors who alleged that the sitting leaders of DSGMC have first served their own interests and allegedly done work, such as admission in schools run by the DSGMC taking money in exchange.

An angered sevadar at Rakab Ganj says the Sikh community in the national Capital is upset with the Badals over the support it sought from Dera Sacha Sauda during Punjab elections and the sacrilege. There were some visitors, who on conditions on anonymity maintain that the DSGMC has received crores of funds from NRIs and that has not been shown in the records.

Residents of Hari Nagar, BS Bedi and Soma Bedi are of the view that voters of DSGMC might vote for “change” as options this time have increased with more political groups participating in these elections. The Bedis see PSD as a major player against the SAD and Sarna-led party saying people might wish to give chance to new people even as they praise Avtar Singh Hit, a veteran of SAD (Badal) contesting from the Hari Nagar seat.

“There can be change. Panthak Seva Dal has a fair chance and might spring a surprise like the Delhi Assembly elections when the Aam Aadmi Party swept,” says BS Bedi, a businessman who adds that it is plank of removing corruption from the education system that can win votes for PSD which has pitched 39 candidates in its debut DSGMC polls.

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