Congress delaying SGPC polls: Akali Dal


Chandigarh : Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal Friday accused the state Congress of putting pressure on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to defer elections to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the mini-parliament of Sikh religion.

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Akali Dal secretary Daljit Singh Cheema said the Congress party was doing so as it feared its imminent defeat in the SGPC polls at the hands of the Akali Dal.

In a statement here, Cheema said it was intriguing that the Gurdwara Election Commission had made elaborate arrangements for conducting these polls and had twice recommended the dates for holding these elections but the union home ministry was least bothered about holding any meeting to discuss these recommendations.

He said the elections, already late by more than an year, were sought to be further delayed by the central government.

The Akali Dal has rejected the demand by some other parties, including the Congress, seeking photo identity cards for voters in the SGPC elections.

Cheema said that it is totally impossible to issue photo identity cards to all the SGPC voters.

“The Election Commission took almost 15 years to complete the photo identity cards for the voter for assembly and parliament elections but even now many voters don’t have these cards. So how is it possible to issue photo identity cards to all the SGPC voters in such a short span of time,” he asked.

He said the Congress has made many attempts to take control of the SGPC directly and indirectly, but its “efforts were always foiled by the people of Punjab”.

He said a win for the Akali Dal in the SGPC polls would prove the party’s popularity ahead of assembly elections scheduled early next year.