Chandigarh, October 25, 2023: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today urged Gurdwara Elections chief commissioner Justice (retd) S S Saron to extend the period for registration of votes for elections to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) by three months.
The SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said a large number of the electorate, which was from rural areas, had been busy in harvesting their paddy crop during the last one month and were now preparing their fields to sow the wheat crop.
He said this was also a period during which the Bandi Chhor Divas was observed. “Subsequently during the second half of December the Sikh community observes the Shahidi Pandarwara to mark the supreme sacrifices of the four Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh ji as well as Mata Gujri ji”.
Sukhbir Badal said besides this, prospective voters had also approached him and detailed that the procedure for registration of voters was very cumbersome and impractical. “As per the present guidelines, prospective voters are required to submit a photocopy of their Aadhar card / Voter identity. They also have to submit their form physically in the Patwarkhana. It is difficult for more than 60 lakh prospective voters to go to Patwarkhanas to submit their forms individually. Also in many villages photocopy and photography facilities are not available”.
Badal requested the chief commissioner that the condition for submission of photocopies of identity proofs be replaced with Aadhar numbers/ Voter Identity card numbers. “The condition for submission of photographs may be done away with altogether. Also joint submission of forms may be allowed”.
He said this would encourage the Sikh masses to participate wholeheartedly in the SGPC election process, which he said, was also the purpose of the Gurdwara Election.
He said considering all these issues the time period for registration of votes should be extended by three months.