Updated: November 30, 2021 10:19:22 am
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee’s honorary chief secretary Harjinder Singh Dhami was Monday elected the new president of the apex religious body of the Sikhs. Dhami is the 44th president of the SGPC and succeeds Bibi Jagir Kaur who was named the Shiromani Akali Dal candidate from the Bholath Assembly seat in Kapurthala district for next year’s Assembly polls.
Dhami, a Badal family loyalist, is a member of the SGPC from Sham Chaurasi segment of Hoshiarpur district.
During a general house meeting of the SGPC at Teja Singh Samundri Hall here, the name of Dhami was proposed by SGPC senior vice-president Surjit Singh Bhhitewad and was seconded by Bhagwant Singh Sialka and Ravinder Singh Khalsa.
After his name was proposed, some members from the opposition camp raised an objection and demanded polling by secret ballot. Led by Amrik Singh Shahpur, they proposed the name of Mithu Singh Kanekey for the SGPC chief’s post. Later, Dhami polled 122 votes whereas Mithu Singh got 19 votes. There were 143 members present in the House, in which members owing allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal, enjoy a majority. One vote was rejected and one member did not take part in the voting process.
The other officer-bearers who were elected include Raghujit Singh Virk (senior vice-president), Surinder Singh (junior vice-president) and Karnail Singh Panjoli (general secretary).
The SGPC general house of 191 members comprises 170 elected by Sikh voters, 15 co-opted and six sitting heads of Sikh temporal seats and
the Golden Temple head priest.
Attacks opposition camp in SGPC
Speaking to the press after being elected as SGPC president, Dhami said that besides expediting the ongoing Dharam Prachar (religious preaching) campaign, health and education services would also be given a new direction as per the demands of the time.
He said, “I seek the support of the sangat. There is a protocol and code of conduct of the SGPC general house. It is unfortunate that some opposition members created ruckus. We strongly condemn the violation of maryada in the presence of the Guru Sahib.”
“Due to disturbance by some opposition members, some important resolutions brought in the general house could not be read. It is the supreme house of the community and the demands raised here are of great significance but when some political interests do not allow the environment to be created here, it harms the entire community,” said Dhami.
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