The upcoming assembly elections will be payback time for members of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), who won the September polls on the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) ticket.
Avtar Singh Makkar, working president of the SGPC, has directed elected members to campaign for SAD candidates.
“All those who were chosen by the SAD to contest the SGPC elections and got elected have a moral duty to support party candidates in their respective areas,” said Makkar.
Makkar, who is set to get re-elected as SGPC president in a fortnight, said all members who got elected from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh should campaign for SAD candidates.
Of the 170 SGPC seats for which polling was held, 159 went to the SAD. There are 157 seats in Punjab, 11 in Haryana and one each in Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh. The SGPC recently co-opted 15 members from across the country.
“Who says it is a violation of the model code of conduct? The members would campaign in their personal capacity. Violations would occur if the SGPC as an institution gets involved in campaigning,” said Makkar.
Hardeep Singh, an SGPC member who contested as an Independent, said, “The involvement of persons heading the supreme body of the Sikhs in different capacities, including the working president, and the use of SGPC premises in the assembly elections is a wrong practice.”
SGPC members Bibi Jagir Kaur, Sucha Singh Langah, Kuldeep Kaur Tohra, Sant Balbir Singh Ghunas, Surinder Singh Bhulewal Rathan, Gobind Singh Longowal and Tota Singh are contesting the January 30 assembly elections as candidates of the ruling party.