SGPC poll rolls finalised
Amritsar February 9:
Electoral rolls for the SGPC elections may have been finalised on February 3, but the possibility of the poll taking place in March and April seems bleak, as even now a few districts are yet to wind up the exercise of removing anomalies in voter lists of some areas.
In November last year, the Gurdwara Election Commission had announced that there will be no further extension beyond November 12 for filing of objections to the voter lists, which had automatically pushed the date for the final publishing of voter lists to January 12. Going by that count, the final publication of the lists is already late by almost a month, which is bound to have an impact on the pace of the poll process.
Talking to reporters, Chief Commissioner, Gurdwara Election Commission, Justice HS Brar, said the rolls had been finalised and they were now awaiting reports from various district headquarters in this regard. “As soon as we receive reports from them, we will write to the Union Home Ministry to fix the poll dates. It takes nearly one and a half months to hold elections after the final electoral rolls are published,” he said, hoping that the elections would be held in March-April.
On the demand for photo ID cards from some quarters, he said it had become too late to take a measure like it, adding that adequate steps had been taken to check bogus voting. However, former SGPC secretary and Shiromani Panthic Council chairman Manjeet Singh Calcutta said the ruling SAD didn’t seem inclined to face the SGPC poll, as they were focusing on the state Assembly poll. “Moreover, the Manpreet factor too is playing on their minds, though he will not directly contest the SGPC poll,” he added.
While the elections in March don’t seem possible now, April and May would be ruled out on account of harvesting season in Punjab, he said, adding that the only possibility now was June and that too if the SAD was ready to face the electorate. Alleging the entry of bogus voters on voter lists, he said they would approach the Punjab Governor as well as the Union Home Minister, seeking the conduct of the SGPC elections with photo ID cards, and if it didn’t yield the desired result, they would move the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
If Calcutta or any other Panthic leader took legal recourse, it could further delay the poll. The SGPC elections were last held in July 2004 and the present House completed its term in July 2009, which means the poll is already delayed by over one and a half years.