iconimg Friday, July 31, 2015

HT Correspondent
Amritsar, January 05, 2013
The Sehajdhari Sikh Party (SSP) will actively participate in the forthcoming elections to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) by campaigning against the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). The members of the SSP, earlier known as the Sehajdhari Sikh Federation, are those who believe in the Sikh Gurus and their Gurbani despite being non-Sikhs. On December 24 last year, the party was formally granted recognition by the Election Commission of India (ECI) when it approved the change of name of "Sehajdhari Sikh Federation" to "Sehajdhari Sikh Party".

The decision of the SSP to oppose the Badals in the DSGMC polls was expected as it was the SAD (Badal) that had all along been opposing voting rights to Sehajdharis in gurdwara elections. In the last Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections in September 2011, they were not allowed to vote.

Addressing the media here on Saturday, SSP president PS Ranu said that his party would seek votes for candidates of good moral values and the party workers from Haryana and Punjab would stay in Delhi during the elections.

"However, there is no question of supporting a candidate of the SAD. We will support candidates either of the SAD (Delhi) led by the Sarna brothers or seek votes for Independent candidates," said Ranu.

He said that Sehajdharis would launch a campaign to create awareness in the Sikh community against the SAD, which had tried to create a wedge in the community by categorising Sikhs as 'amritdharis' (baptised), 'sehajdharis' and 'patits' (Sikhs with shorn hair).

Ranu announced the formation of a six-member committee, which would scrutinise and then pick the candidates the SSP would be supporting in the DSGMC elections. The committee will be headed by SSP national general secretary Gurpal Singh Sidhu.

Other members of the committee are Jagtar Singh Jagga, president of the youth wing of the party, Balkar Singh, vice-president of the party, besides Darshan Singh Gurgaon, Ranjit Singh Jhammat and Manjeet Singh Sanghera.

Expressing his anger against the SAD, Ranu said that they had been fighting for the past nine years for voting rights to Sehajdharis in the SGPC polls. It was finally the Punjab and Haryana high court which finally restored the voting rights of sehajdharis, he said, referring to the cases relating to the validity of the last SGPC polls, which were still pending before the Supreme Court.