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Congress supporters, Akalis join hands to contest Chief Khalsa Diwan polls

Filling top three posts: After 1992, secret ballot voting is being conducted for the first time. 

punjab Updated: Mar 15, 2018 14:13 IST
Surjit Singh
Surjit Singh
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Former chief of Khalsa Diwan Charanjit Singh Chadha (R) with his now deceased son Inderpreet Singh. (HT File )

As the campaign for the elections for three top posts of the Sikh socio-religious organisation, Chief Khalsa Diwan (CKD), has intensified, the scenario has become interesting as a panthic faction, supporting the Congress and an ex-MLA of the Congress, have joined hands with the Majithia group of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) to contest the polls.

The posts of president and vice-president fell vacant after president Charanjit Singh Chadha and his elder son Inderpreet Singh Chadha, who was vice-president, were expelled from the 115-year-old organisation after a sleazy video row involving Charanjit Singh Chadha. The post of general secretary was already vacant.

The election to these posts is slated on March 25. After 1992, this is for the first time that a 513-member CKD general House will opt for voting to elect the office-bearers. Till then, the election was being held unanimously.

Must read | ‘Chadha & Co’ that ruled Chief Khalsa Diwan for 14 years falls from grace with tragic end

The faction, led by former honorary secretary of the CKD Bhag Singh Ankhi, who is considered a supporter of Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, and former Congress MLA Sawinder Singh Kathunangal are supporting former Akali MP and senior leader Rajmohinder Singh Majitha, a candidate for the post of president.

It is worth recalling that Ankhi conducted a meeting at his residence during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in support of Capt Amarinder Singh, who was contesting as a Congress candidate.

After Capt became the CM of Punjab last year, Ankhi, along with late Akali leader Manjit Singh Calcutta, and other supporters in the CKD had conducted a press conference to congratulate Captain.

Ankhi, who is an influential and elderly Sikh leader, was not only expelled from the CKD by then chief Charanjit Singh Chadha, but he also tendered his resignation from the Khalsa College Governing Council in which Majitha holds a key post, in protest against the formation of Khalsa University.

Besides, Rajmohinder Singh is very close to former Akali minister Bikram Singh Majithia. It is learnt from sources that Majithia is trying his best to ensure the victory of Rajmohinder Singh. Moreover, Bikram’s father Satyajit Singh Majithia is also a member of the CKD. Being president of the Khalsa College Government Council, Satyajit wanted to set up Khalsa University, which was opposed by the Ankhi group.

In this background, Ankhi’s support to Rajmohinder has surprised all.

“The CKD has nothing to do with politics. As far as my political view is concerned, I am an Akali basically. I supported Capt Amarinder Singh as he is a Sikh,” said Ankhi while speaking to HT

First Published: Mar 15, 2018 14:12 IST