CHANDIGARH: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) secured an emphatic victory in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DGMC) elections, result of which was declared on Wednesday.
However, interestingly Punjab Chief Minister and Akali Dal Patron Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister and party president Sukhbir Singh Badal never campaigned in these elections.
It was first time that both father and son duo was missing in action all throughout the campaign trail. Besides the absence of the duo, no senior party leader from Punjab including cabinet ministers campaigned in Delhi in these elections. The entire Badal family had left for the United States for a medical check-up of senior Badal at a hospital there.
Senior Badal reportedly came back on February 17 while Sukhbir and his wife returned on February 20. However, they stayed away from the campaigns of the party for the DGMC elections. Sukhbir who stayed in Delhi after his return, remained confined to his home where he held series of meetings with the party leaders. He monitored the campaign from his home and did not venture out.
The star campaigners this time were SAD’s Delhi unit president Manjit Singh GK and general secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa.
Challenging the Akali Dal was the traditional adversary SAD (Delhi) headed by Paramjit Singh Sarna who is known for proximity to the Congress. Sarna lost his own seat second time in a row. The other marginal players were a group headed by former Akal Takht Jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh another group supported by the Aam Aadmi Party besides some Independents.
The DSGMC is the second most important and powerful elected body of the Sikhs after Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.
Interestingly, two major issues that dominated the elections this year were concerning Punjab. Firstly that Dera Sacha Sauda supported the Akali Dal in the Punjab Assembly elections and failure of the Badal lead SAD-BJP government to check continuing desecration of Guru Granth Sahib. However, despite the adversities, Akali Dal emerged as the winners with thumping majority.
It might be the victory in absentia for the Badals but after all, it is victory under their command. Out of the 46 seats, SAD won 35, the SAD (Delhi) got seven and Independents won four seats.