Badals sweep Delhi gurdwara elections, win 37 of 46 seats
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The shift in power could be a matter of concern for the Congress-led Delhi government, which will be facing the Assembly polls later this year.
The scale of the SAD (Delhi) loss was evident after DSGMC president and SAD (Delhi) chief Paramjit Singh Sarna lost by the highest margin against Manjinder Singh Sirsa from the SAD (Badal). Director of Gurdwara Elections G P Singh said the margin of defeat was 4,454 votes. "Sarna garnered 4,552 votes against Manjinder Singh Sirsa, who won 9,006 votes. This is the highest victory margin in this election," Singh added.
Manjit Singh, who is expected to be the next DSGMC chief, won from Greater Kailash against Gurpreet Singh.
At the end of counting on Wednesday, SAD (Badal) secured 37 seats, SAD (Delhi) eight seats and Congress MLA Tarvinder Singh Marwah won his constituency under the Kendriya Guru Singh Sabha. A total of 265 candidates were in the fray for 46 seats of the DSGMC.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had little to say on Wednesday's outcome. "This is a religious election and we are not involved — neither as the government nor as a party in the polling process. It was our duty to conduct free and fair elections, which we have achieved," she said. Parliamentary Secretary Mukesh Sharma said the Congress had not stopped Marwah from contesting the Gurdwara polls, as he did not contest under any party symbol.
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who was in Delhi, thanked the voters and members of the community for the victory. He also reiterated his resolve to fulfill every promise made in the manifesto. He said this election was a reminder to the Sarnas that those who betrayed the Sikh community, by hob-knobbing with the Congress, would be "severely punished".
Last year, the Badals and Dikshit had locked horns after the latter suggested amendments to the DSGMC elections, which included direct elections for the post of president. Badal had warned Dikshit not to interfere in gurdwara affairs, as Dikshit claimed the amendments were meant to make the Sikh body more transparent.
BJP president Vijender Gupta said the defeat in the DSGMC polls had set the stage for the Congress downfall in Delhi Assembly elections. "Last year, we won the municipal elections and now this election as well. The end of the Congress rule in Delhi is near," Gupta said.
Congress asserted that the DSGMC elections would have no bearing on the Assembly polls. "They are completely different. In the DSGMC's case, it seems some errors were made in the distribution of tickets. We believe this will have absolutely no effect on the Assembly elections," a senior Congress functionary said.
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