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Chief Khalsa Diwan by-elections on Sunday, three groups in fray for key posts

Elections for the 513-member CKD house will be held through secret ballot, first time since 1992

punjab Updated: Mar 24, 2018 19:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
CKD,Charanjit Singh Chadha,bypolls

After Charanjit Singh Chadha’s empire ended following a sleazy video row, Sikh socio-religious organisation, the Chief Khalsa Diwan (CKD), will elect its new president on Sunday. Three groups are in the fray for the CKD posts.

Apart from the president, bypolls are being conducted for the posts of vice-president and general secretary. After sleazy video row, the then president, Chadha, and his elder son Inderpreet Singh Chadha, who was vice-president, were expelled from the 115-old organisation. The post of the general secretary was already vacant.

The last election for the 513-member CKD house using ballots was held in 1992. After it, the office-bearers were elected unanimously.

Acting president Dhanraj Singh, former Akali MP Raj Mohinder Singh Majithia and noted surgeon and philanthropist Dr Santokh Singh are contesting for the president’s post.

The Dhanraj group has fielded Baldev Singh Chauhan and Gurinder Singh Chawla for the posts of vice-president and general secretary. Nirmal Singh and Surinder Singh are contesting for the posts from the Majitha group, while Sarabjit Singh and Santokh Singh Sethi are in the fray from the faction led by Dr Santokh Singh.

Members who have affiliation with the Shiromani Akali Dal and Congress have joined hands to support Majitha, who is also close to family of senior Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia. Former CKD honorary secretary Bhag Singh Ankhi is also backing Majitha, who had raised the demand that non-baptised Sikhs shouldn’t be allowed to contest CKD elections. Dhanraj, on the other hand, is taking advantage of this as all candidates of his group are baptised Sikhs.

Although Chadha, who had a considerable sway in the CKD general house but is out of site due to Akal Takht’s edict, is seen campaigning for Dr Santokh Singh group on WhatsApp.

The polls will be held at the gurdwara situated on second floor of the CKD head office in Amritsar. A three-member committee, comprising Guru Nanak Dev University vice-chancellor Dr Surinderpal Singh, principal Baljinder Singh (retd) and retired SSP Iqbal Singh Lalpura, has been appointed to oversee the elections process.

First Published: Mar 24, 2018 19:48 IST