A GLIMPSE ON ELECTION OF DELHI SIKH GURDWARA MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
RESULTS ASTONISHING AS NUMBER OF WINNERS OF BADALS LED AKALI DAL SAW A FALL
After repeated postponements due to Covid- 19 epidemic, general elections for four years term Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) were at last held on 22 nd August and results declared on 25 th August accordingly.
These elections were conducted in a smooth and transparent manner and no untoward incident was reported due to vigilant eye of the Delhi Government. Election results were somehow astonishing because number of winners of Shiromani Akali Dal Badal faction has drastically decreased from the existing 37 in 2017 to 27 now, whereas the number of winners of Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi Sarna faction and its allies sharply increased from existing 7 in 2017 to 19 now.
The vote percentage in present elections were 37 percent as compared to 45 percent in the year 2017, out of which Badal group secured 40 percent as compared to 46 percent in the year 2017 and Sarna group and its allies secured 44 percent of votes in the current elections. A large number of invalid votes were reported due to wrong marking by the voters.
Defeat of some main Sikh leaders is talk of the town in which the defeat of the present President of the DSGMC and spokesperson of Shiromani Akali Dal Badal Mr. Manjinder Singh Sirsa is one of them, who lagged behind in Punjabi Bagh ward by 469 votes from the General Secretary of Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi Mr. Harvinder Singh Sarna. Although Mr. Sirsa is reported to have been declared as a nominated/Co-opted candidate of Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), Sri Amritsar, which will be for the first time in the history that a defeated candidate in DSGMC elections has ever been declared as a nominee of the SGPC.
In accordance with the Delhi Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1971, the Co-option process is required to be completed within 15 days of the declaration of results of general elections i.e. upto 9 th September 2021, which also includes the process for nomination, scrutiny and withdrawal for Co-option of two members from Sikh Community of Delhi.
A meeting of the newly elected 46 DSGMC members will be called by the Director Gurdwara Elections to Co-Opt 9 members out of which firstly one nominee of SGPC and four Jathedars of Takhats i.e. Sri Akal Takhat Sahib Sri Amritsar, Takhat Sri Kesgarh Sahib Sri Anandpur Sahib, Takhat Sri Harmandir Sahib Patna Bihar and Takhat Sri Hazur Sahib Nanded Maharashtra will be Co-opted, whereas these four Jathedars have no voting right. It is pertinent to mention that Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib Talwandi Sabo Punjab has so far not been included as fifth Takhat in the Delhi Gurdwara Act, whereas this Takhat is already included in the ‘Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925’ applicable for the election of members of SGPC, Sri Amritsar.
Thereafter, two members will be Co-opted by draw of lots out of the Presidents of the Registered Singh Sabha Gurdwaras of Delhi. Lastly two Sikh representatives of Delhi will be Co-opted by voting by the 46 newly elected members present in the meeting in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote on the pattern of election of Rajya Sabha members, which is quite different from the general elections.
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act and rules mandates the Director Gurdwara Elections to call first meeting of all the 55 members, in which after administering Oath to all the members in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, a pro-tempore Chairman will be elected to conduct election of President of DSGMC. Thereafter, the newly elected President will conduct election of other office-bearers consisting of Sr. Vice-President, Jr. Vice-President, General Secretary and Joint Secretary along with 10 members of the Executive Board. If there are more than one candidate for any post, election will be held through secret ballot papers. Although 26 votes will be required for a winning candidate, but this number can decreased in the event of absence of some members. During counting of votes, if more than one candidate secure equal number of maximum votes, then the winner will be decided by draw of lot.
In this way, the new Executive Board will start functioning probably in the end of September 2021 after taking charge from the existing Committee, whereas the term of the new Executive Board will be two years. In case of any dispute during the Co-option process or during the election of the Executive Board, an Election Petition can be filed by the affected party in the District Court within 15 days after depositing a sum of Rs.500 as security amount in the office of the Director Gurdwara Elections.