NEW DELHI

Akali Dal (Sarna) wins 27 seats in Gurdwara polls

Staff Reporter

Badal group supported by BJP gets 12 seats out of 46

Six of the remaining seven seats have gone to the Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthak) groupIn the outgoing DSGMC, 23 members were from SAD (Sarna) group

NEW DELHI: The Congress-backed Shiromani Akali Dal (Sarna) has won 27 of a total of 46 seats in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections held on Sunday. The results were announced here on Tuesday.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) group, which had the backing of the Bharatiya Janata Party, won 12 seats. Six of the remaining seven seats have gone to the Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthak) group led by Manjeet Singh. One seat has gone to an independent candidate who won from Preet Vihar.

In the outgoing DSGMC, 23 members were from SAD (Sarna) group, led by president Harvinder Singh Sarna and his brother Paramjit Singh Sarna, and 20 were from SAD (Badal). The last elections to the Management Committee were held more than four years ago.

Significant

Requesting anonymity, a Delhi Sikh leader associated with the DSGMC polls said while the SAD (Panthak) group was close to the Congress, the independent candidate was also backed by the Congress.

The Sikh leader said the success of SAD (Sarna) was significant in view of the fact that big names of the BJP and senior State leaders of SAD (Badal) from Punjab had openly come out in support of the SAD (Badal) group in the Capital and were even actively involved in the poll process. "The tickets for the SAD (Badal) group candidates were distributed at the house of a senior BJP leader," he said.

Further, he added, active involvement of big names like Parkash Singh Badal, his son Sukhbir Singh and former Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa as well as senior BJP leaders in the SAD (Badal) affairs here had raised concerns among many Sikh voters of too much interference from the Sangh Parivar.

Keeping in mind that SAD (Badal) was going to be its main opponent in the forthcoming elections in Punjab, the Congress too had left no stone unturned. However, it had not come to the forefront openly, the leader added.

According to the leader, the Sikh voters - 4-lakhs of whom were eligible to exercise their rights in this elections -- had gradually come back to the Congress fold after Sonia Gandhi became the Congress president and made Manmohan Singh the Prime Minister. She herself visited the Golden Temple after becoming the Congress president.

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