Record turnout at Chandigarh Golf Club election : The Tribune India

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Record turnout at Chandigarh Golf Club election

Club witnesses a triangular contest for the first time in its six-decade history

Tribune News Service

Deepankar Sharda

Chandigarh, March 20

Chandigarh Golf Club (CGC) election of 2022 held today will be remembered for adding new chapters to the club’s history.

The triangular contest, which was a first in the six-decade history of the club, witnessed a record turnout of voters. Setting a benchmark for future elections, as many as 1,154 members cast their vote, the highest turnout in the history of the club elections. A total of 1,800 members have the voting right to choose the new governing house of the club.

Justice SS Sodhi, former Chief Justice of the Allahabad HC.

The annual general election was held to choose one president and 11 executive committee members of the club. A total of 31 members had filed their papers for the 11 posts of executive committee member.

Randeep Surjewala, national spokesperson for Congress.

As CGC underwent polling, after a gap of three years, prominent personalities of the region, from politicians to top golfers, turn up to cast their vote. Justice SS Sodhi, former Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, RS member Pratap Singh Bajwa, Congress leaders Randeep Singh Surjewala, former Punjab minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, Congress leader Munish Bansal, Punjab BJP leader and former Punjab Sports Minister Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, Capt Amarinder Singh’s younger brother Malwinder Singh, SAD (A) leader Simranjeet Singh Mann, SAD (Sanyukt) leader Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Punjab Olympics Association general secretary Raja KS Sidhu, Arjuna Awardee golfer Harmeet Kahlon, social worker Karan Malhotra and many bureaucrats of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh reached the venue to cast their vote.

Former Punjab minister Balbir Singh Sidhu.

Record polling

Voting started at 11.30 am and concluded at 4.30 pm. As many as 1,215 members had cleared their dues to become eligible for casting their vote. However, a total of 1,154 exercised their right. The polling numbers were expected to go high considering the number of members who claimed no-dues slips. However, due to long queues and humidity, many members returned without casting their vote, said a senior official. “More than 1,150 votes were polled. The results will be declared on Monday. The results for the post of president will be declared in the morning, while that of 11 executive committee will be announced in the evening,” said the returning officer, Brig JS Phoolka.

Ex-Punjab Sports Minister Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi.

Parking woes

With a huge turnout of voters, golf carts were pressed into service to bring members from the parking area which was located away from the main gate of the club.

Golfer Karandeep Kochar during the election.

A different scenario

Bureaucrats and senior politicians were patiently standing in long queues to cast their vote. Only a few members followed Covid protocol, including the wearing of a mask and maintaining social distance.

Capt Amarinder Singh’s younger brother Malwinder Singh.

A Keen contest

This election is a keen contest between there presidential candidates, Major Rajinder Singh Virk (Lalli), Lt Col HS Chahal (Bobby) and SPS Ghai (Nippy), who are contesting the top post for the first time. Though they have won election to the executive committee. Senior members cited this particular reason for a record number of voters’ turnout. “All three candidates are experienced and had played important roles in the past. It will be a neck-and-neck contest. The winning margin is expected to be very thin,” said a senior official.

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