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Delhi: 2,500 cops to be deployed for Gurdwara polls on Sunday

2,500 police personnel will guard 560 polling stations where the voting for Delhi Sikh gurdwara management committee (DSGMC) elections will take place on February 26

delhi Updated: Feb 25, 2017 00:28 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Hindustan Times
Gurdwara polls in Delhi,DSGMC elections,Gurdwara elections
Members of Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) campaign for the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections in New Delhi on Friday.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

As the campaigning to elect 46 members for the Delhi Sikh gurdwara management committee (DSGMC) elections came to an end on Friday, the directorate of gurdwara elections, Delhi government, has commissioned 2,500 police personnel to guard 560 polling stations where the voting will take place on February 26.

“We are taking no chances, police will be deployed on roads and mohallas, which have a high concentration of Sikh voters, on Sunday” said Shurbir Singh, director of gurdwara elections.

There are a total of 51 members in the house, of which 46 are elected, two are co-opted, two are chosen by lottery from among the Singh Sabha gurdwaras of national capital and one is a representative of Shiromani Gurdwara parbandhak committee (SGPC), which has its headquarters in Amritsar.

According to the directorate, 57 polling stations were declared hypersensitive and 111 as sensitive. “We are putting additional security on all the identified polling stations,” Singh said.

Main contenders in the elections are Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), led by Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) outgoing president Manjit Singh GK, SAD (Delhi) led by Paramjit Singh Sarna, who was the president for over 10 years from to 1996 to 2013, and Panthic Sewa Dal, an organisation formed by the Aam admi party (AAP).

A total of 334 candidates are in the poll fray, counting of which would take place on March 1.

Read more:Sikh radicals, former terrorists camping in Delhi for DSGMC polls

SAD (Badal), which is facing a stiff competition from AAP in the upcoming Punjab assembly polls on February 4, and Paramjit Singh Sarna led-SAD (Delhi), which has been out of power in the gurdwara politics for four years, have been trying to stage a comeback.

Apart from the management of 10 historic Gurdwaras in the national capital, including Bangla Sahib, Sis Ganj, and Rakabganj Sahib, and an annual budget to the tune of Rs100 crore, the DSGMC has 6 industrial training institutes, 6 post-graduate colleges affiliated to Delhi University, 18 public schools, 2 hospitals and an upcoming university under its management.

60% voters have ID cards

Of the total 3.8 lakh eligible voters, only 60% have been issued identity cards for the DSGMC polls. To deal with the issue of fake voters, Singh said the directorate has published electoral rolls with the photos of the voters and those, who were not issued ID cards, can cast the vote by proving their identity with help of alternate identity proofs such as a passport, driving licence, pan card or an adhaar card.

Who is a voter?

A Sikh, who keeps unshorn hair and has faith in Guru Granth Sahib, can vote in these polls. There are over eight lakh Sikhs in the national capital, out of which 3.8 lakh are the voters.

First Published: Feb 24, 2017 23:29 IST