Makkar likely to get another term as SGPC chief

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Amritsar, Nov 22 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Parkash Singh Badal, is likely to give Jathedar Avtar Singh Makkar his third consecutive term as Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief.

Though Mr Badal refused to disclose his choice for the top SGPC post, but at a meeting of the SGPC members of his party, here today he expressed satisfaction with the working of Jathedar Makkar.

The meeting, which was attended by 140 SGPC members of the SAD unanmiously authorised Mr Badal to choose the next president of the SGPC.

SAD working president Sukhbir Singh Badal and a number of other senior leaders of the party attended the meeting held at Bhai Gurdass Hall.

The annual election of the office bearers of the SGPC, including the president, senior and junior vice presidents, general secretary and the 11-member executive team, will be held at Teja Singh Samundri Hall in the Golden Temple complex, tomorrow afternoon.

There are presently 181 elected and coopted members in the 190-member SGPC general house, with four members having passed away.

The Jathedars of the five Sikh Takhts are also members of the House but they do not have the voting right in case of an election.

As the SAD led by Mr Badal has 145-members in the House, the other Akali factions including the Akali Dal (Amritsar) led by Simranjit Singh Mann have virtually no influence in the SGPC general house.

Senior members of the SGPC including former presidents Bibi Jagir Kaur and Kirpal Singh Badungar besides Jathedar Makkar and senior leader Sewa Singh Sekhwan addressed today's meeting. Mr Badal met some of the SGPC members separately to solicit their views on the issue.

As has been the case in the past, Mr Badal will hand over a sealed envelope to one of his close confidants in the SGPC, containing the names of the office bearers and the executive members a few minutes before the start of the general house meeting, tomorrow. The envelope would be opened in the meeting to reveal Mr Badal's choice for the top SGPC post.

Later, after the meeting Mr Badal alongwith his son Sukhbir Badal met other senior leaders of the party to finalise the names of the executive committee members.

Factions opposed to the ruling SAD have indicated that they would play the role of an opposition in tomorrow's poll.


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