M A I N   N E W S

Delhi HC stays DSGMC polls
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

New Delhi, February 7
The much-awaited elections to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) have been stayed. The elections to the cash-rich and politically influential body of Sikhs were slated for March 11.

The body is headed by Paramjit Singh Sarna, a known critic of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his party Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). Sarna and his brother Harvinder Singh reportedly enjoy good relations with Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh.

Acting on a petition, Justice Vipen Sanghi of the Delhi High Court today asked that fresh electoral roll having photos of the voters be prepared within one month. He has also stayed the election schedule.

The Delhi Gurdwara Election Commission was scheduled to issue a notification on February 16 listing the dates for filing nominations, withdrawals, polling and counting. The commission had announced the schedule and also released advertisements in various newspapers.

The court has fixed March 22 as the next date of hearing.

Advocate Gurbaksh Singh, appearing for the petitioner, demanded that the voter lists, which did not have photos of the electors, should be scrapped. Harmohan Singh, petitioner, also contended that the de-limitation of the constituencies, numbering 46, needed to be carried out as they had become too lopsided. There are constituencies that have less than 1,500 votes while places like Tilak Nagar have nearly 27,000 votes.

The development started causing ripples among the Sikhs by the evening, resulting in a blame game. PS Sarna blamed Badal and his group saying, “First they say elections are not being conducted. Now when polls are being conducted, they go to court to seek a stay”. Manjit Singh, who heads the Delhi’s SAD unit, blamed the Delhi Government saying “it is ploy of the government to ensure that Sarnas stay in the saddle.” He termed the stay “unfortunate”.

The DSGMC has a budget of Rs 60 crore approximately and the amount is spent on maintaining and running 35 educational and management institutes in the capital. Nine historic gurdwaras are also controlled by the committee.





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