Capt Amarinder authorised by house to raise SGPC poll delay issue with centre



Chandigarh, February 14: Hours after he was authorized by the State Assembly to take up with the Centre the issue of delay in SGPC elections, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said people had the right to early polls to the supreme body controlling the Gurdwaras.

Talking informally with mediapersons outside the House, the Chief Minister termed the delay in the SGPC elections as wrong and unfair for the people of Punjab. It was the democratic right of every Punjabi to vote in SGPC elections which cannot be denied by Union Government, he earlier said in the House, while responding to the issue that was raised by AAP MLA HS Phoolka.

Amid protests by SAD and BJP members, the House authorized Captain Amarinder to raise the issue with the central government. The Chief Minister assured the House that he would meet the Union Home Minister soon to press for early initiation of the SGPC elections which were pending since 2016.

Since the Gurdwara Act was a national legislation, it was the bounden duty of the central government to hold timely elections to the SGPC, he said, seeking the permission of the Speaker, on behalf of his government, to adopt the resolution moved by the AAP MLA.

Amidst protests by SAD and BJP MLAs, the Speaker put the resolution to vote, as a result of which the House authorised Captain Amarinder Singh to raise the issue with Union Government immediately.

As the resolution was put to vote, the members of ruling party and AAP welcomed it with thumping of desks.

The Chief Minister later told mediapersons there was unanimity in the House on the issue as the elections were over due by three years. Only the Akalis and BJP were not in favour, he added.

To a question on the continuance of certain AAP members who had resigned, the Chief Minister said they continue to be members till their resignations are accepted. He had also resigned from Parliament in 1984 but continued to be a member for two months as his resignation had not been accepted, he recalled.