Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said people have the right to early polls of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, hours after he was authorised by the State Assembly to take up with the Centre the issue of delay in elections of the supreme body controlling gurdwaras. The SGPC elections are pending since 2016.
Talking informally with the media outside the House, the chief minister said 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 lawmaker HS Phoolka.
Amid protests by SAD and BJP members, the House authorised Captain Amarinder Singh to raise the issue with the central government. The chief minister assured the House that he would meet the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh soon to press for early initiation of elections.
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 Mr Phoolka.
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 media 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.