Perneet Singh, Tribune News Service
Amritsar, December 4. With the co-option process in the new SGPC House set to take place here tomorrow, this will, probably, be the first time when the opposition will not be able to co-opt a single member, making the exercise a one-sided affair.
The ruling SAD had swept the SGPCpoll in September , winning 157 of the 170 seats. Out of the remaining 13 seats, six went to the Independents, most of whom rebel SAD leaders. The rest of the seats were shared by the Panthic Morcha, the SAD (Panch Pardhani) and the SAD (Amritsar).
The Opposition needs at least 12 members to co-opt one member into the House. Though its combined strength just touches the magic figure, there is hardly any possibility of the opposition getting a single member co-opted as it stands disunited. Similarly, the Opposition will not get any berth in the SGPC executive. Therefore, the Opposition will be out of the co-option process as well as the formation of the SGPC executive.
In the previous House, the Opposition was able to co-opt its three members and had also representation in the executive. Sources said the SAD’s alliance partner Sant Samaj’s Jagtar Rode, (brother of former Akal Takht Jathedar Jasbir Singh Rode) may be co-opted as a member.
The Sant Samaj is seeking two seats in the new SGPC House.
The first meeting of the newly elected SGPC members will be held at at Teja Singh Samundari Hall here tomorrow. The new House will finally come into being after various twists and turns over the past almost two-and-a-half years. While this was not the first time that the SGPC elections were not held on time, the ruling SAD continued its tirade against the Congress-led UPA government, accusing it of deliberately delaying the poll.
Later, when the SGPC elections were announced, a controversy on the voting rights of the Sehajdhari Sikhs broke out.
On September 2, the Centre withdrew the October 2003 notification debarring the Sehajdharis from exercising franchise in the SGPC elections, contending that the notification had been issued “without application of mind”.
The following day, an embarrassed Union Government scurried to assure Parliament that it had no intention of withdrawing the notification .