Strict curbs: Voter registration for SGPC poll gets tepid response

Voters’ enrolment is witnessing a lukewarm response for the upcoming SGPC General House poll.

The SGPC has approached the Chief Commissioner Gurdwara Elections, Punjab, urging it to ease the voters’ registration procedure as Sikh aspirants, especially belonging to the rural belt, find it tiresome to furnish the requisite conditions within the stipulated time-frame.

As per schedule released by the Gurdwara Election Commission, the registration process window has been fixed between October 21-November 15.

Tarn Taran and Amritsar has seen the lowest turnout of aspirants. In Tarn Taran, not a single applicant approached while in Amritsar, till October 31, only seven applications were received, five from Amritsar East and two from Chogawan.

In Pathankot, Tehsildar Lachman Singh, who was transferred yesterday, said not a single voter approached him directly. Yet, in Gurdaspur and Batala, 268 and 200 applications were received. In Moga (1,135), Faridkot (164), Patiala (550) and Jalandhar (54) forms have been received.

As per the notification, it has been made mandatory for the aspirant to appear in person to deposit his or her form, mentioning their credentials which should match either the Voter Card or Aadhar issued by the Election Commission of India.

An aspirant Gurbaksh Singh Bedi from Amritsar went to get him and his wife registered at one of the centres on October 30. He said the Gurdwara Election Commissioner has directed not to accept the bulk voters’ applications.

“My form was endorsed by the designated official but he refused to accept my wife’s form as she was not present then. Even the officers never knew how many forms should be considered as bulk. They do not accept more than one form from an individual”, he said.

The last SGPC polls were held in 2011 in which over 52.69 lakh ‘eligible’ voters from Punjab had participated.

SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami has appealed to the Chief Gurdwara Commission to extend the voters registration period for the SGPC elections as it would not be possible for over 50 lakh estimated voters from Punjab to go to the designated authorities to deposit their forms.

No applicant from Tarn Taran, Pathankot

  • No aspirant has turned up in Tran Taran, Pathankot
  • Tarn Taran and Amritsar have seen the lowest turnout of aspirants
  • In Tarn Taran and Pathankot, not a single applicantion filed and in Amritsar, only seven received till October 31
  • 268 and 200 applications received from Gurdaspur and Batala, respectively, 1,135 from Moga, 164 Faridkot, 550 Patiala and 54 from Jalandhar
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