Debating India

Voting for SGPC elections begin

Sunday 11 July 2004

Chandigarh, July 11 (UNI) Amid tight security arrangements, voting for the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh began at 0700 hrs today.

The contest for the cash-rich Sikh body, which manages historic gurdwaras in the region, is mainly between the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) led by Parkash Singh Badal and Panthic Morcha, a conglomerate of various anti-Badal Akali factions and other Sikh bodies which is also opposed to the SAD supremo.

There are 120 constituencies, which will elect 170 members. Fifty of these constituencies are double member seats. Out of these, eight members have been declared unopposed, while elections to three seats have been countermanded. Of the total 170 seats in the SGPC general house, 158 are in Punjab, ten in Haryana, and one each in Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

The voting will come to an end at 1700 hrs.

Eleven observers from Haryana have been appointed in Punjab, whereas Punjab cadre officers have been appointed as observers in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. No observer has been appointed for Chandigarh.

The campaigning for the SGPC elections had ended on Friday evening.

Barring the intra-party shootout at an election rally of the Badal-led SAD at nearby Kharar town on July 2, campaigning, by and large, remained peaceful. Two Akali activists were killed and three injured in the Kharar shootout.

Meanwhile, Chief Commissioner Gurdwara Elections (CCGE) Justice (Retd) J S Sekhon yesterday expressed dissatisfaction over the security arrangements made for the elections, saying head constables, instead of gazetted officers, would supervise most super-sensitive polling stations during the SGPC elections. He said his demand for paramilitary forces had also been turned down by the Union Home Ministry.

Of the total 5,55,9036 voters enrolled in the region, 5,21,9416 belong to Punjab, 3,09,464 to Haryana, 15,407 to Himachal Pardesh and 14,749 to Chandigarh.

The polling is being held in total 8290 polling stations across the region, including 7710 polling stations in Punjab where 2157 have been declared sensitive and 203 hyper sensitive.

Out of 449 polling stations in Haryana, 118 are sensitive and 23 super-sensitive, he added. No polling station has been declared sensitive in Himachal Pardesh and Chandigarh, which have 113 and 27 polling stations respectively.

The results will be declared on July 12 and July 15 in places where repolling will be held.

See online : Deepika News


in Deepika News, Sunday, June 11, 2004.

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