Organisers of ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ have decided to move the Punjab and Haryana High Court for directions to hold fresh elections of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) – in a bid to check Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal)’s attempts to extend the tenure of SGPC house, elected in 2011, by another five years.
The SGPC house had been non-functional ever since it was formed in 2011 — with the Supreme Court putting a stay on it after the gurdwara panel moved court over the voting rights of Sehajdhari Sikhs.
One of the ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ organisers, Gurdeep Singh of United Akali Dal, said: “Badals want to kill democracy within the Sikhs. SGPC is a democratic institution and no government has the right to suspend the right of vote of Sikhs to elect representatives for SGPC. We want immediate elections that are anyway due now. SAD (B) has already lost the confidence of Sikhs as was proved by the success of ‘Sarbat Khalsa 2015’. SAD is running away from the SGPC elections as it knows they will be defeated badly. They have no moral right to held any meeting of SGPC house.”
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Meanwhile, the SGPC, presently controled by SAD(B), has been awaiting a letter from the centre to hold its first meeting to elect the president of house elected in 2011.
Though tenure of the house will end in December 2016, SAD(B) has decided to ask the Centre to extend the tenure of 2011 house for more five years.
Gurdeep Singh said, “It is true that SAD has run SGPC house for more than five years in the past. But that was dictatorship, there was no morality in that. They had taken advantage of the unrest in state. Now there is no such unrest. The assembly elections are also due. If assembly elections can be held, then SGPC elections can be also held. We hope that court will give us justice,” said Gurdeep Singh.