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SAD-Sant Samaj combine sweeps SGPC elections
Bags 157 out of 170 seats; turnout 62%
Polling by and large peaceful
Naveen S Garewal/TNS

Chandigarh, September 18
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Sant Samaj alliance swept the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandak Committee (SGPC) elections held today. The alliance won 157 out of 170 seats spread across Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

The alliance lost 10 seats in Punjab and three (out of 11) in Haryana. It won both seats in Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh. In the last General House, SAD had won 140 seats, while 30 were bagged by others.

Though, the names of the winners will be notified on September 22, the counting was done soon after the polling ended and results declared thereafter.

Punjab witnessed 62.74 per cent polling. The highest voter turnout was recorded in Nawanshahr (73 per cent) and the lowest in Amritsar (51 per cent).

The combine lost Sirsa, Ambala and Ambala SC seats in Haryana. In Punjab, it lost Joga, Garshankar, Hargobindpur, Phillaur, Dhuri, Dhuri SC, Mohali, Baba Bakala, Jandiala and Dharamkot seats. The smallest margin of votes was seen in Dharamkot (Moga) where a rebel candidate Sukhjit Singh Kaka was declared winner by a margin of only 73 votes.

Barring an incident of firing in Kurianwala village of Gidderbaha and some skirmishes across Punjab, including Buttarshri (Muktsar), the poll was by and large peaceful, notwithstanding some allegation of intimidation by non-alliance candidates.

Though, all 28 polling stations in Chandigarh were classified as sensitive, there was no report of any untoward incident from Chandigarh, Haryana or Himachal Pradesh.

Surprisingly, the alliance won some of the heavily contested constituencies, leaving nothing to the share of the main opposition - the Panthic Morcha and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), led by Simranjit Singh Mann, who incidentally himself lost the poll from Bassi Pathana. His son Eman Singh mann also lost from Bhagsar (Patiala).

Mannís party won the Joga seat in Mansa district by defeating the SAD candidate. Phillaur also saw a close finish with the SAD nominee losing to the Panthic Morcha by a margin of 213 votes.

There are reports from Badal village that certain non-Keshdharis caste votes in the poll. All candidates in the poll had to give an undertaking that they were Keshdhari and did not shear any body hair.

A PPP worker was critically injured in a firing incident at Kurianwala in Gidderbaha. He was reportedly protesting against alleged booth capturing. He was taken to a hospital where his condition was stated to be critical.

poll report

The Winners

  • SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar
  • Former SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur
  • Education Minister Sewa Singh Sekwan
  • Agriculture Minister Sucha Singh Langah
  • Chandigarh ex-Mayor Harjinder Kaur

The Losers

  • SAD (A) president Simranjit S Mann
  • Haryana Sikh leader Jagdish Singh Jhinda

The smallest margin of votes was seen in Dharamkot (Moga) where rebel candidate Sukhjit Singh Kaka won by 73 votes

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