Ludhiana, Punjab: Sehajdhari Sikh Party national chief Dr Paramjeet Singh Ranu has said Sehajdharis are seeking only voting rights in the SGPC elections.
“They are not asking for the right to contest the elections, as according to Section 45 of the Gurdwara Act only baptised Sikhs can contest the SGPC elections,” said Ranu.
Clarifying that Sehajdharis are not apostates, Ranu told the mediapersons: “An apostate is a person who partakes of Amrit (baptism) and then violates it. We are Sehajdharis. We have never been baptised.”
Asked if the party will close its doors on any member who decides to get baptised, he said the Sikh Sehajdhari Party was open to all Sikhs.
He said, “The party members who get baptised will have the right to contest the SGPC elections.”
He claimed that 80 per cent of the Sikh population was of the non-baptised Sehajdhari Sikhs and that approximately 70 lakh Sikhs were not enrolled as voters in the last SGPC elections.
Ranu said the Sehajdhari Sikh Party units in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh were being reshuffled to strengthen the party. Keeping in view the recent political developments and in light of the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Sehajdharis’ voting rights that is likely to be delivered this yearend, the reshuffle is imperative, Ranu said.
The re-election of the SGPC is likely to be held after the Apex Court’s decision, he added.
Ranu announced that Surinderpal Singh Sekhon of Sangatpura village, Samrala, had been made the acting president of the Punjab unit of the Sehajdhari Sikh Party.