BHOLATH (KAPURTHALA): Former Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira while condemning the attitude of Shiromani Akali Dal patron and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on the Delhi Gurdwara Act amendment said the veteran leader’s opposition was politically motivated, biased and out of fear of imminent defeat.
Khaira said the Delhi government was well within its constitutional rights to move an amendment to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act 1971, whereby the President of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) would be elected directly instead by members of the body only.
“As we are aware, direct elections is nothing new to democracy, many developed nations such as USA elect their President directly as evident recently. Even in our country many states allow Mayor’s or Municipal heads to be directly elected. Sarpanches across the country are also elected directly, even the Badal government realizing its folly has amended the Punjab Panchayati Raj Act 1994, to elect Sarpanches directly in the ensuing Panchayat elections next year.”
The Congress leader while supporting the amendment said direct election of the Delhi Gurdwara Committee president will bring in transparency, more accountability and close the doors for horse-trading as happens in indirect mode of election.
Khaira further said, “Badal is afraid to participate in a direct election fearing defeat of his protégé or his nominee at the hands of the Sikhs of Delhi. In so far alleging delay in conducting elections to the DSGMC is concerned, the Congress party questions why the Akali Dal does not oppose the often untimely and delayed elections of the SGPC in Punjab? Merely because the Akali Dal has control of the SGPC and delay suits them here?”
Khaira advised Badal father-son duo not to interfere in the legitimate working of the Delhi government, but look into the rampant corruption in the SGPC. “Our religious body SGPC stands totally politicized with a puppet President in place who works on the whims and fancies of the Badal family and not in accordance with the aspirations of the Sikhs. The Sikh clergy has also been rendered redundant, even the Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib is not independent and follows the diktats of the Badal family,” he added.
Badal must first put the SGPC house in order before making politically motivated and baseless comments against an elected Delhi government, the former Bholath MLA said.