SGPC polls not possible in coming months


Chandigarh : Despite hype by the ruling Akali Dal in Punjab regarding elections to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the mini-parliament of Sikh religion, the polls do not seem possible in the coming months.

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Though the deadline for the publication of manuscripts of electoral rolls for the polls has been extended by a month, the Punjab and Haryana governments said they cannot complete the work in time.

“In the wake of demands from different states, we have extended the last date of the publication of manuscripts of electoral rolls by a month. Once the whole process is completed, then only will the poll date be announced,” H.S. Brar, chief commissioner of Gurdwara elections told reporters here Friday.

He also said: “The Punjab and Haryana governments do not have enough personnel to complete the work in the stipulated time so we extended the deadline to Jan 17, 2011. They claimed their work was also affected due to floods that had lashed these states in July.”

Brar said any objection can be lodged before the concerned deputy commissioner Oct 1-28. Those will be taken up from Oct 29 to Nov 30.

“During the last SGPC elections, there were 50,54,617 voters in Punjab but now it has increased to 52,36,475. In Haryana, the number of voters has increased to 3,07,236 while in 2004 there were 2,86,707 voters,” said Brar.

“But in Himachal Pradesh and in Chandigarh, we have seen a decline in the number of voters. In Himachal Pradesh, there are only 7,200 voters as compared to 15,407 in 2004. In Chandigarh, there are 11,985 voters while in 2004 there were 14,507 voters in this union territory.”

Regarding the issuance of photo identity cards, Brar said: “We had discussed this issue with the state governments but could not finalise. Actually Punjab and Haryana governments were not ready to bear the expense, so we dropped the idea.”

“But every voter is required to meet the designated election officer and has to produce documents like voter I-card, PAN card, driving licence, bank passbook or arms licence,” he added.

The SGPC, headquartered at the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar, is dominated by the ruling Akali Dal in Punjab.