SAD candidate Dhami re-elected SGPC chief; party says anti-Sikh forces defeated

  • | Wednesday | 9th November, 2022

Amritsar, Nov 9 (PTI) Shiromani Akali Dal candidate Harjinder Singh Dhami on Wednesday was re-elected as the SGPC president after he defeated Bibi Jagir Kaur in the poll for the apex gurdwara body"s top post.Kaur was on Monday expelled by the party after she refused to back down from contesting the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) presidential election.Out of the 146 votes polled by SGPC members, Dhami got 104 while Kaur secured 42. The election was a keenly watched contest as the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate was pitted against a three-time SGPC chief.The general house of the SGPC assembled at the Teja Singh Samundri hall to elect its president and other office bearers, including general secretary, senior vice president and junior vice president.Baldev Singh Qaimpur was unanimously elected as vice president, Avtar Singh Riya as junior vice president and Gurcharan Singh Grewal as general secretary.Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Badal, in a statement, called Dhami"s win a "victory of the panth" over forces out to wreck the Sikh community."I thank the "akal purakh", "khalsa panth" and SGPC members for giving a resounding rebuff to anti-Sikh conspirators and their stooges by reposing faith in the SGPC poll today," he said."I also felicitate Harjinder Singh Dhami Sahib and offer him my best wishes to continue to serve the Guru Khalsa Panth with renewed devotion, commitment and humility," Badal said.The SAD chief had earlier accused National Commission for Minorities Chairman Iqbal Singh Lalpura of trying to break the SGPC by seeking support for Kaur"s candidature for the election. "This is a victory of the "panth" over forces and rulers out to wreck Sikh "quom" from within. I appeal to all members, who had been misled, to heed the signal of Guru Sahib and return to the "sharan" of the Khalsa Panth," Badal said.Following his win, Dhami told reporters that it was a victory of the Sikh community as "anti-Sikh forces" had left no stone unturned to defeat the SAD. The unseen power of the almighty supported the party, he said.Dhami accused the Centre, the Punjab government, the Haryana government, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Lalpura of being behind efforts to defeat the SAD.  He said "anti-SAD" people contacted all the SGPC members to support the opposition candidate but it did not work.Before the poll, the SAD had initially suspended Kaur for "anti-party activities", but Kaur stood behind her decision to contest the poll, she was expelled.Kaur, once considered a loyalist of the Badal family, was demanding she be made the party"s nominee for the SGPC presidential poll. Kaur, a former MLA, was SGPC chief in 1999, 2004 and 2020.Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt) chief Sukhev Singh Dhindsa had also met several SGPC members and had urged them to vote for Kaur.The SAD had announced Dhami as its candidate and its decision to name its candidate was a marked departure from the practice of declaring its nominee on the day of poll.Eleven members of an internal committee of the SGPC were also elected.Mohan Singh Bangi, Jarnail Singh Kartarpur, Surjit Singh Tughalwal, Bawa Singh, Gumanpura,   Gurinder Kaur Bholuwal, Gurnam Singh Jassal, Paramjit Singh Khalsa,  Sher Singh Mandwala, Baba Gurpreet Singh Randhawa, Bhupinder Singh Assandh and Malkit Singh Changal were elected as members.Later, all SGPC members along with Dhami paid obeisance in the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple. PTI JMS CHS VSD ANB ANB

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