Five years after it was elected, the 2011 Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) house will hold its first meeting called by Amritsar deputy commissioner to elect its president on November 5.
The house could not meet earlier as the Supreme Court had stayed its functioning due to a pending case over the voting rights of Sehajdhari Sikhs in the elections. The tenure of the house is set to end in December 2016, but the five-year-term term is elastic and has been extended before.
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After the SC disposed of the case, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) government in Punjab had written to the Centre to allow holding of the first meeting of the house.
The SAD has a majority in the House – 157 of the total 170 members are SAD nominees.
Amritsar DC Varun Roojam, himself not a Sikh, is supposed to preside over its meeting on November 5.
Talking to The Indian Express, Roojam said, “We have received the relevant letter from the Central government and meeting would be called on November 5.”
This will be the first time after 1947 that a non-Sikh deputy commissioner will be presiding over the meeting of the SGPC members to elect their president.
Earlier, there was controversy in 2011 when the then DC Rajat Aggarwal, also not a Sikh, had to nominate 15 members to the elected SGPC house. He was asked to go on leave for a few days and Tarn Taran DC Satwant Singh Johal was asked to preside over the meeting to nominate members.