SAD wins key DSGMC polls; clinches 27 of 46 seats

SAD wins crucial election to Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee; clinches 27 of 46 seats

DSGMC president and SAD leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa lost to Harvinder Singh Sarna of the Akali Dal

Credit: PTI File Photo

Ahead of the Punjab assembly polls, the Shiromani Akali Dal on Wednesday won the crucial elections to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), clinching 27 out of the total 46 seats.

Buoyed by the win, the third on the trot in the DSGMC elections, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal said it is the beginning of a "storm which will sweep the Congress and the AAP aside" in the Punjab assembly polls next year.

DSGMC president and SAD leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa lost to Harvinder Singh Sarna of the Akali Dal (Delhi) in Punjabi Bagh by 469 votes.

However, he is likely to become the Sikh body’s president again as the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) nominated him as a member of the DSGMC on Wednesday evening.

Manjit Singh GK-led Jago party won in three wards, while Akali Dali (Delhi) headed by Paramjit Singh Sarna got 14 seats, the Directorate of Gurdwara Elections said.

Independent candidate Tarvinder Singh Marwah won the Jangpura ward.

SAD got 40.27 per cent of the total votes polled, Akali Dali (Delhi) 27.79 per cent and JAGO Party 15.72 per cent votes, according to data issued by the directorate.

Addressing the media in Delhi, SAD president Badal said, “This is just the beginning of the storm which will sweep the Congress and the AAP aside in the 2022 Punjab assembly elections.”

Sirsa will be nominated as a member of the DSGMC on behalf of the SGPC, a statement quoted Badal as saying.

“Sirsa stood by the Sangat, including Covid victims, farmers and Sikh refugees from Afghanistan, and has won the hearts of devout Sikh masses,” he said.

Sirsa posted on Twitter: "We feel humbled and blessed to win 27 seats out of 46 in DSGMC elections. This win is the victory of Delhi’s Sangat. We bow our heads to the honour bestowed upon Shiromani Akali Dal by the Sangat of Delhi."

The SAD president claimed that the Congress deputed police officers from Punjab to help Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s religious advisor Paramjit Sarna.

“Our booth managers were intimidated and raids were conducted against them. A large number of votes polled in favour of SAD were rejected resulting in the loss of nearly eight seats,” he claimed.

“While the Akali Dal (Delhi) received help from the Punjab government, the Jago party was supported by the BJP which even held meetings of its councillors and booth level leaders to help the Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa – Manjit GK led front,” Badal said.

The DSGMC which controls historic shrines in the city including Rakabganj and Bangla Sahib Gurudwaras as well as various academic institutions and hospitals, goes to polls every four years.

A total of 312 candidates including 132 independents fought the elections conducted on Sunday.

The voting had witnessed a low turnout of 37.27 per cent, officials said.

The Punjab Bagh ward had recorded the highest percentage of voting of 54.10 per cent, while it was lowest (25.18 per cent) in Sham Nagar, as per the directorate figures.

In the previous elections held in 2017, SAD came to control the DSGMC by winning 35 wards.

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