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SGPC chief to be elected in Amritsar today

A day before the annual elections of the SGPC, its members owing allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), on Tuesday gave all rights to the party president Sukhbir Singh Badal to choose the next president

punjab Updated: Nov 29, 2017 12:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
SGPC,Shiromani Akali Dal,Sukhbir Singh Badal
Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh (centre) flanked by Budha Dal chief Baba Balbir Singh (left) and former ‘hazuri ragi’ (gurbani exponent) of the Golden Temple Jaswant Singh (right), who were awarded the Shiromani Sewa Ratan for ‘kar sewa’, in Amritsar on Tuesday. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) will elect its new president on Wednesday, when the committee’s annual session is convened at Teja Singh Samundri Hall here.

All eyes are on the elections to see if incumbent president Kirpal Singh Badungar gets to retain the post or a fresh face is elected. Badungar was elected one year ago by the house unanimously. Other than the president, 15-member executive committee will also be elected. This committee also comprises of senior vice president, junior vice president and general secretary.

The Akali Dal controls the apex gurdwara body owing to its majority in its general house. Following the old tradition, the SAD president presided over the meeting.

“All arrangements have been made to conduct the elections and teams have been constituted for systemic arrangements,” said SGPC chief secretary Roop Singh.

SGPC members empower Sukhbir to choose president

A day before the annual elections of the SGPC, its members owing allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), on Tuesday gave all rights to the party president Sukhbir Singh Badal to choose the next president. The former deputy chief minister of Punjab on Tuesday held a joint meeting of as many as 100 SGPC members associated with the party at the Teja Singh Samundari Hall here.

The Akali Dal controls the apex gurdwara body owing to its majority in its general house. Following the old tradition, the SAD president presided over the meeting.

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Other senior Akali leaders, including Daljit Singh Cheema, Balwinder Singh Bhundar, Sikandar Singh Maluka and Manjinder Singh Sirsa were also present at the meet.

As nobody was allowed to enter the meeting hall other than the SGPC members, sources said Cheema started the proceedings and introduced its purpose. He was followed by former SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur, who formally announced that all the rights to decide about the president are given to Sukhbir. All the SGPC members present reportedly gave their approval to the move by raising their hands. “This is a tradition of the SAD to trust on the party president and his decision will be acceptable for all,” sources added.

During his address, Sukhbir thanked the members and said, “I will take any decision in this regard according to your sentiments and on merit.” He also lauded incumbent SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar for “successfully running the Dharam Parchar drive” in the country.

Restoration of Panthic bastion

The SAD president gave indications at the meet that the party will return to its roots and restore its Panthic bastion. He also announced that the 100th foundation day of the SAD in 2020 will be celebrated in Amritsar on a grand scale. “The celebrations will be kicked off soon and continue till 2020 at Manji Sahib Diwan Hall at the Golden Temple,” he said.

This announcement holds significance as the SAD, after coming to power under the leadership of Parkash Singh Badal, had made Chandigarh centre of its activities.

First Published: Nov 29, 2017 12:13 IST