(Meets Justice Saron and also submits a memorandum in this regard to him)
Chandigarh: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today urged Gurdwara Elections chief commissioner Justice (retd) S S Saron to extend the period for registration of votes for elections to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) by three months.
The SAD president, who met the chief commissioner and also submitted a memorandum to him in this context, apprised Justice Saron about the problems being faced by members of the Sikh community in registering their votes.
Mr Sukhbir Badal said a large number of the electorate, which was from rural areas, had been busy in harvesting their paddy crop during the last one month and were now preparing their fields to sow the wheat crop. He said this was also a period during which the Bandi Chhor Divas was observed. “Subsequently during the second half of December the Sikh community observes the Shahidi Pandarwara to mark the supreme sacrifices of the four Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh ji as well as Mata Gujri ji”.
Mr Badal said besides this, prospective voters had also approached him and detailed that the procedure for registration of voters was very cumbersome and impractical. “As per the present guidelines, prospective voters are required to submit a photocopy of their Aadhar card / Voter identity. They also have to submit their form physically in the Patwarkhana. It is difficult for more than 60 lakh prospective voters to go to Patwarkhanas to submit their forms individually. Also in many villages photocopy and photography facilities are not available”.
Keeping these facts in view, the SAD president requested the chief commissioner that the condition for submission of photocopies of identity proofs be replaced with Aadhar numbers/ Voter Identity card numbers. “The condition for submission of photographs may be done away with altogether. Also joint submission of forms may be allowed”.
Mr Badal said considering all these issues the time period for registration of votes should be extended by three months. He said this would encourage the Sikh masses to participate wholeheartedly in the SGPC election process, which he said, was also the purpose of the Gurdwara Election. EOM