‘10 candidates who won on SAD tickets associated with Cong’

The Congress in Delhi seems unwilling to accept defeat at the hands of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) in the recently concluded Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) polls.

Senior Congress leaders on Friday claimed that at least 10 successful SAD candidates were part of the party at some point and had left the Congress-backed Sarna group before the elections.

The polls have left partymen confused as to whether the elections were of a religious nature or not, with Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Delhi Congress president J P Agarwal making opposing statements.

Congress MLA Tarvinder Singh Marwah had won the election from Defence Colony. But senior leaders claimed that the party constitution disallowed its members from contesting in religious elections.

A senior Congress leader, on condition of anonymity, said at least 10 candidates who won on a SAD ticket in the elections were associated with the Congress. "All these candidates switched over to the Badals after being denied tickets from the Sarna group. Of the 10 candidates, many, in fact, had won the previous election with Sarna," he said.

According to Congress sources, two successful candidates — Harmeet Singh from Kalkaji and Ravail Singh from Moti Nagar — were most recently the president and general secretary of Sarna's SAD (Delhi)'s youth wing.

Other SAD (Badal) candidates who contested with Sarna in the previous elections included G S Shunty, Inderjit Singh Monty and Gurmeet Singh Meeta.

Following the elections, Dikshit and Gurdwara Elections Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely had said the party was not involved in the polls as it was "religious in nature".

However, when asked whether Delhi Congress would initiate disciplinary action against those who contested, party president J P Agarwal said the DSGMC election was an administrative one and not religious.

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