Harjinder Singh Dhami is new SGPC president

  • | Monday | 29th November, 2021

Amritsar, Nov 29 (PTI) Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee honorary chief secretary Harjinder Singh Dhami on Monday became the new president of the apex religious body of the Sikhs.Dhami succeeded Bibi Jagir Kaur as the 44th president of the SGPC. A Badal family loyalist, he is a member of the SGPC from Sham Chaurasi segment of the Hoshiarpur district.The Shiromani Akali Dal had on Monday announced Kaur as party candidate from the Bholath Assembly seat in Kapurthala district for the polls.During a general house annual 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 another member Harwinder Singh Khalsa. After his name was proposed for the SGPC chief"s post, some members from the opposition camp objected and demanded polling by secret ballot.They proposed the name of Mithu Singh Kanekey for the SGPC chief"s post.Dhami polled 122 votes whereas Mithu Singh got 19 votes. There were 142 members present in the House, in which members owing allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal enjoy a majority.One member did not take part in the voting process.  Karnail Singh Panjoli has been elected as the general secretary of SGPC by ballot. Panjoli polled 112 votes and his opponent Gurpreet Singh got 21 votes and one vote was rejected.The other officer-bearers who were elected include Raghujit Singh Virk (senior vice-president) and Surinder Singh (junior vice-president).The SGPC general house session also elected an 11-member executive committee. 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.Addressing the media after being elected as SGPC president, Dhami referred to the chaotic situation and said, "There is a protocol and a code of conduct of the General House session of SGPC." "Unfortunately, some opposition members forget the honour of Guru Sahib and created a ruckus. We strongly condemn the violation of "Maryada" in the presence of the Guru Sahib." Any issue could be considered but it is unfortunate that instead of discussion, the atmosphere was deliberately spoiled by the opposition, Dhami said."Due to disturbance, some important resolutions could not be read. It is the supreme house of the Sikh community and the demands raised from here are of great significance. But when some with political interests do not allow the right environment, it harms the entire community," he said.The new SGPC chief thanked Shiromani Akali Dal patron Parkash Singh Badal, party president Sukhbir Singh Badal, senior Akali leaders and all the SGPC members.He said that besides expediting the preaching campaign, health and education services would also be given a new direction as per the demand of the time. The SGPC is a common body of all and every Sikh should be a partner in its work, he said.Dhami has been associated with the SGPC for a long time. He also served as SGPC general secretary. Last year, Dhami was appointed by the general house as the honorary chief secretary of the SGPC.Born in 1956, Dhami holds BA, LLB degree and has been involved in the legal profession for 40 years. PTI JMS CHS SUN NSD NSD

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