Govt declares gurdwara poll date, process to end Jan 27
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SC had set a deadline of December 31, plea for extension of time was turned down
The Delhi government's Directorate of Gurdwara Elections (DGE) on Sunday announced that elections to the 51-member Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) would be completed by January 27.
This added fuel to the controversy over the DSGMC polls, which were in a limbo since last year.
The Supreme Court had set a December 31 deadline for the Delhi government to hold the polls. Just three days ago, the apex court rejected the government's plea requesting more time.
The directorate's consultant Bhanwar Singh said the elections would be held on January 27. "The notification will be issued on December 31 and the deadline for filing nominations will be January 7. The last date for withdrawing nominations is January 10, while campaigning will end on January 25," Singh said.
The directorate is expected to advertise the election process in newspapers on Monday.
The DSGMC elections became a controversial topic after the city government decided to amend the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act — the legal provision for conducting the elections.
The government hopes to amend the electoral process to include direct election of the DSGMC president. In the current system, the 51 members elect the president.
The DSGMC members are elected from Delhi's 46 wards, while five are nominated.
Close to four lakh people from the Sikh community in Delhi are expected to vote, a senior official of the directorate said.
The BJP and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal have challenged the move to amend the Act, alleging that the Congress-ruled government was meddling in Sikh religious affairs. Badal and his son, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, had asked the Prime Minister to intervene.