DSGMC polls: Dikshit calls it religious, DPCC chief says administrative

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

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

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

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

A senior Congress leader on grounds of anonymity said at least ten candidates who won on a Badal ticket in the elections were associated with the Congress party.

"All these candidates switched over to the Badals after being denied tickets from the Sarna group. Of the ten candidates, many, in fact, had won the previous election with Sarna," he said.

According to sources in the Congress, 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 the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) would initiate disciplinary action against those who contested, DPCC President J P Agarwal said the DSGMC election was an administrative one and not religious.

The SAD Badal faction swept the DSGMC elections winning 37 of 46 seats.

The Congress-backed Paramjit Singh Sarna group managed only eight seats compared to last election's tally of 27.

Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and most of the state's cabinet had camped in Delhi for more than two weeks in a bid to wrench control of the Sikh community's second most powerful body in the country.

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