Ruchika M Khanna, Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, 15 February 2017. With elections to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) scheduled for February 28, the three main political parties, the Shiromani Akali Dal, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, will be putting their might behind different factions trying to take control of the Sikh body in Delhi.
The issues being raised by the three factions in fray supported by these parties as well as a fourth faction headed by former Akal Takht Jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh and Hazoori Ragi of Harmandr Sahib Baldev Singh Wadala, are almost an echo of the issues raised in Punjab elections.
The desecration of holy books, the support sought from religious deras (against the tenets of Sikhism) and drug taint on certain leaders of the SAD are being played out against them by SAD (Delhi) led by Paramjit Singh Sarna and Panthic Sewa Dal led by AAP Kalkaji MLA Avtar Singh.
On the other hand, the SAD group led by Manjit Singh GK, who incidentally had looked down on the Dera support sought by his party for Punjab elections perhaps fearing its repercussions in Delhi gurdwara poll, is harping on the synchronised religious calendars being introduced by them for the DSGMC, construction of a 1984 Sikh carnage memorial and segregating Sikh religious affairs in Delhi from politics.
The SAD is putting its might behind the 46 candidates it has fielded for the election. All candidates fielded in different wards will be called tomorrow and asked as to who all from Punjab they want for canvassing in their wards.
Though the official line taken by AAP and the Congress is that they are not supporting any religious body, they maintain that their party leaders are free to support any of the candidates. However, it is believed that top Congress leaders will be putting their might behind the group led by former DSGMC president Sarna.
Sarna said though Capt Amarinder had campaigned for him in the last DSGMC election four years ago, “he is expecting that the leader might campaign for him even now, but in his personal capacity”.