Sukhdev Singh Sirsa was elected new president of the Punjab Sahitya Kala Akademi at Punjabi Bhawan on Sunday. He defeated Dr Tejwant Mann and got 602 votes.
Sirsa succeeds Gurbhajan Singh Gill who headed the prestigious body of Punjabi writers for two years.
For the post of senior vice-president, Dr Surjit Singh Patiala got 534 votes and defeated Dr Joginder Singh Nirala. Dr Anoop Singh was unanimously elected general secretary.
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For the posts of five vice-presidents, Tarlochan Lochi, Surinder Kailey, Gurcharan Kaur Kochar, Sudarshan Gaso and C Markanda won the polls and got 503, 457, 451, 445 and 342 votes respectively.
A total of 846 valid votes were polled. The body has around 1,600 members from across the world. Almost 1,200 of them are active in India. These polls are held after two years.
The Akademi, which is almost 60 years old, is one of the highly acclaimed associations of Punjabi writers with members from North America, Europe, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. The body works on the promotion of Punjabi literature, book reading culture, deals with challenges facing Punjabi language and as a pressure group to promote Punjabi.