Sarpanch objects to names on voters’ list
Anandpur Sahib November 23:
The names of Hindus, especially women, and Sehajdharis figure on the preliminary voters’ lists prepared for the forthcoming Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections.
Daljit Singh, sarpanch, Thali Kalan, has filed an objection with the office of the SDM, Anandpur Sahib, stating that 7,000 such votes have been registered in different villages of Nurpur Bedi.
The Punjab Gurdwara Election Commission has ordered the SDM to conduct an inquiry into the complaint. At the time of enrolment, the voter is asked to give an undertaking that he or she believes in Guru Granth Sahib and follows the Sikh religion.
Taking advantage of the grey areas in the definition of Sikhs mentioned in the law, the list has more women than men voters. “It is easy to identify a man with shorn hair, whereas it is difficult to look at a woman and tell whether she plucks her eye-brows or not (a condition laid down for enrolling as a Sikh voter). The law is silent on it giving ample opportunity for the anti-social elements to take advantage,” pointed out Manjit Singh Calcutta, the Chairman of the Shiromani Panthic Council.
The complaint mentions that Jhandiyan village has a total of 371 voters, of them 337 females and only 34 males. Similarly, in Kangar village there are a total of 513 voters, of them 415 females and 98 males. Other villages that have a similar trend in voters’ list include Sakpur, Hayatpur, Ballewal, Jatoli, Mankoli, Tedde Majra, Kahnpur Khui and Nurpur Bedi. Manjit Singh Calcutta added that he had repeatedly written to the commission demanding that the definition of a Sikh be clearly spelt out to rule out such confusion.