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Harsimrat Badal hails passage of Gurudwara amendment bill denying voting rights to Sehajdharis in Rajya Sabha

March 17, 2016 | By

Chandigarh: In a written statement issued today, Shiromani Akali Dal Badal leader and Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today hailed the unanimous passage of the Sikh Gurudwaras (amendment) bill, 2016 in the Rajya Sabha. The bill aims at denying ‘Sehjdharis’ the right to vote in the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) elections.

Bathinda MP termed the passage of the amendment bill as “a historical moment in the Sikh history”. He said that the Rajya Sabha had righted a wrong by passing this amendment retrospectively with effect from October, 2003.

She said that the passing of this amendment was also a victory for the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal). SAD has resolved not to let outsiders to vote by proxy in the SGPC elections through the ‘sehajdhari’ route, she added.

Parkash Badal (L), Harsimrat Badal (C) and Sukhbir Badal (R) [File Photo used for representational purpose only]

Parkash Badal (L), Harsimrat Badal (C) and Sukhbir Badal (R) [File Photo used for representational purpose only]

It is pertinent to mention here that the promulgation of Sikh Gurudwara Act in 1925 granted voting rights to Sikhs but in 1959, the Sehajdharis were also allowed to vote in the SGPC polls. Then in October, 2003 the then NDA government had issued an ordinance denying Sehajdharis voting rights. But this decision was quashed during UPA regime.

“Today the SAD and its MPs have succeeded in correcting a historical wrong by convincing the upper house to pass this amendment unanimously and also sent out a signal to those conspiring to weaken the community that their designs will not be allowed to succeed”, Harsimrat Badal said adding she was confident the amendment would be passed in the Lok Sabha also in due course.

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