Chandigarh, June 6
Former SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur on Tuesday said her new outfit ‘Shiromani Akali Panth’ will provide a platform for those wishing to contest the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee polls.
Her statement comes days after the chief election commissioner gurdwara elections announced the process of updating electoral rolls to elect the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) members for the general house.
Though the schedule is yet to be announced, it has set the ball rolling for the polls.
“The Shiromani Akali Panth will be a platform for Sikhs who wish to contest the SGPC polls,” Kaur said.
She had announced the formation of the Shiromani Akali Panth in memory of Sant Prem Singh Muralewale in Begowal area of Kapurthala district on June 3.
In her address in Kapurthala, Kaur had said that the Shiromani Akali Panth would revive the old glory of the SGPC, an apex gurdwara body, by contesting the polls and also end “political interference” in its functioning.
The SGPC general house of 191 members comprises 170 members elected by Sikh voters, 15 co-opted and six sitting heads of Sikh temporal seats and the Golden Temple head priest.
The polling to elect SGPC members was to be done every five years. But the last SGPC general house elections were held in 2011 in which the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had won a majority in the House.
Kaur was later expelled by SAD after she stuck to her stand of contesting the SGPC presidential poll in November last year.
Kaur, who was once considered a Badal family loyalist, had even rolled out her agenda for the SGPC chief poll and also assured of restoring autonomy of the apex gurdwara body.
The former MLA from Bholath seat had remained SGPC chief in 1999, 2004 and 2020.
In the recently held Jalandhar Lok Sabha bypoll, Kaur had extended support to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
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