Modi’s Cabinet Excludes Sehjdharis From Voting in SGPC Elections

The Union cabinet on Thursday okayed the presentation of an amendment in the Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925 in Parliament, to debar Sehajdhari Sikhs from voting in Sikh religious bodies’ elections. With that, functioning of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) will be back on track as the SGPC general body remains frozen since 2011 over this issue.

This would further pave the way of election of a new executive body, including the president. That’s why this move now is being seen as a way to finally replace SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar by his own party, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), as he was under fire during the crisis that had hit Punjab late last year after incidents of desecration of religious texts.

It was the SAD that sought the amendment. The Union cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, decided to approve the debarment with effect from 2003, said a home ministry statement. The amendment is expected to be brought in Parliament within the ongoing budget session for mandatory approval.

The final go-ahead would require one more step, though. After Parliament nod, the matter would go to the Supreme Court for reversing its orders of freezing the SGPC general body elected in the 2011.
video: ZEE Punjab Haryana Himachal

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