Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 25
The Shiromani Akali Dal has retained its control over the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC). It won 27 of the 46 seats, earning a clear majority.
SAD (Delhi), led by the Sarna brothers – Paramjit Singh and Harvinder Singh—won 14 seats while the Manjeet Singh GK led Jag Asra Guru Ott (Jago) party managed to win just two.
The Akal Sahai, Akali Dal Panthak, and Kendri Singh Sabha won one seat each.
The sitting DSGMC president Manjinder Singh, lost his Punjabi Bagh seat to Harvinder Singh Sarna. However, on Wednesday evening Sirsa was nominated to the committee under the provision allowing DSGMC to co-opt nine members besides the 46 elected ones.
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal announced the nomination. On being asked if Sirsa would continue to be President, Badal said, “The House will decide on electing a President, when it meets.”
The DSGMC general secretary Harmeet Singh Kalka retained his seat at Kalkaji while Manjeet Singh GK, who is former president of the DSGMC, retained his seat of Greater Kailash.
Addressing a press conference, Badal hailed the victory and termed it as a forceful referendum of Khalsa Panth in favour of the Panthic identity and religious commitment of his party. “The Community totally rejected the Congress-backed and BJP-sponsored groups, including those of Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa Sahib and the Sarna group.”
Both, Sirsa and Kalka alleged that the Centre and state government “tried their very best to defeat us”. Sirsa said more than 20 per cent of the votes cast (postal ballots) “in our favour were rejected” as invalid.
“This is victory of Guru Teg Bahadur and a slap on the face of those who were doing things at behest of Government,” Sirsa said.
The DSGMC body runs the affairs of the Sikh community. This includes gurdwaras, schools, colleges and hospitals. The DSGMC has been in the forefront in providing help during Covid, housing Afghan refugees or getting bail for farmers arrested after the January 26 incident in the National Capital.
3.42 lakh members of the Sikh Community were listed as voters for the elections and 37.27 per cent of them cast their votes to elect the prestigious body.
Elections for the DSGMC were earlier scheduled on April 23, but postponed due to lethal wave of Covid in the national capital during the period, and were rescheduled for August 22.
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