Sikh organizations oppose voting rights to Sehajdhari Sikhs

Amritsar, Punjab: Even as the Sehajdhari Sikh Party claims to be in talks with Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal over the fate of the new SGPC House and the Sehajdharis’ voting rights, the SGPC and other Sikh organisations have opposed any move to give voting rights to the Sehajdharis.

Talking to The Tribune, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar said the SGPC was against voting rights being given to the Sehajdharis as there was no concept of a ‘Sehajdhari Sikh’ in Sikhism.

Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh accused Sehajdhari Sikh Party president PS Ranu of bluffing, alleging that he had made his meetings with the Deputy Chief Minister public as he had not been able to “strike a deal with him.”

He alleged that Ranu was deliberately spreading misinformation to trigger ‘disintegration’ in the Sikh rank and file. He said Sukhbir should come clean on Ranu’s claims.

He warned that no Sikh organisation should think about recognising the concept of Sehajdhari Sikhs. All-India Sikh Students’ Federation (AISSF) chief Karnail Singh Peermohammed said the ruling SAD should not enter into any “unholy agreement” with the Sehajdhari Sikh Party, merely to save the new SGPC House. “Today they are seeking voting rights, tomorrow they will be eying the SGPC management.”

Shiromani Panthic Council chairman MS Calcutta said the reported move to give voting rights to Sehajdharis did not seem logical as the SAD-ruled SGPC had itself got the Sehajdharis Sikhs disenfranchised through a 2003 notification. He said those projecting themselves as Sehajdharis were actually ‘patits’ (apostates).

Noted Sikh scholar Bhai Ashok Singh Bagarian said: “The Sehajdharis want to infiltrate the gurdwara management through politics”. Former SGPC general secretary Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, in whose tenure the Sehajdharis were disenfranchised, said: “the SGPC is neither business, nor politics. Therefore, whatever has to be done must be based on Sikh principles.”

Panthic prganisations fear that by giving voting rights to Sehajdharis, the r SAD will not only show the SGPC in a bad light but will also end up according recognition to the concept of Sehajdhari Sikhs.

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