SGPC may elect its new president; Badungar, Ghunas amongst the front runners
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), a mini-parliament of Sikhs, founded in November 1920 is going to elect its new president on November 29, 2021.
The speculations are rife that this year a change of guard will take place in Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) as present incumbent Jagir Kaur may contest the upcoming assembly elections in February 2022 and someone close to Badal’s will be the next president of SGPC.
Jagir Kaur , the first-ever woman president of the Sikh body, also remained Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister in addition to holding the portfolios of social welfare, development of women and children welfare in Parkash Singh Badal led government 1997-2002, may once again contest assembly pool from Bholath, her home constituency. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) that controls the SGPC has declared its candidates for 83 assembly segments but not for Bholath, which Jagir Kaur had represented thrice (1997, 2002 and 2012).
Sukhbir Badal led SAD has majority among 170 members in general house, and he alongwith his father former CM Parkash Singh Badal as patron of the party plays a key role in selecting the name to head to coveted committee.
As per sources, Kirpal Singh Badungar, who belongs to the Backward Classes community and he has served as SGPC president earlier too, from November 2001 to July 2003 and in 2016 is a suitable candidate for the party to be appointed for a coveted post of president SGPC. Sukhbir Singh Badal had already announced to appoint a Dalit deputy CM if it forms the government in Punjab, and the Congress has elevated a Dalit (Charanjit Singh Channi) as the chief minister.
Badal is trying to woo the SC, BC, OBC categories voters.
Among the other candidates, SGPC members belonging to the SC community, Sant Balbir Singh Ghunas is also in the pipeline. He remained close to Harchand Singh Longowal. He is associated with Mastuana ‘samparday’ and is head of Gurdwara Gursagar Sahib, Mastuana, in Sangrur district. However, Ghunas never held any important portfolio in the party or the SGPC. The three-time MLA, Ghunas misses the bus for assembly ticket. This time SAD has given the party ticket from Bhadaur (Barnala) to Satnam Singh Rahi and his elevation are stronger this time owing to the changed political scenario in the state.
Other ‘s SGPC incumbent chief secretary (honorary) advocate Harjinder Singh Dhami, are also making rounds for the post. His name was also considered last year, but Jagir Kaur won the race of president.
Other veteran SAD leader Tota Singh, who remained hot contender for the post, got the assembly ticket and is now out of the race.
The SGPC General House will elect president, senior vice-president, junior vice-president, general secretary of 11 executive committee members on November 29.