| Amritsar, Punjab | 7 Nov 2016 | Asia Samachar |
Kirpal Singh Badungar, who did a post-graduate in English literature, was unanimously elected as president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
This is the third stint at the key Amritsar-based Sikh body for the 74-year old leader who has also served as secretary of political party Shiromani Akali Dal for five year (1996-2001).
He replaces Avtar Singh Makkar.
“He is an accomplished academician, fantastic speaker and a polished technocrat,” one Punjab analyst told Asia Samachar. “He was the one who pushed for and got the Nanaksahi Calendar crafted and passed by Jagir Kaur after him.”
At the elections held on Saturday (5 Nov 2016), Baldev Singh Kiampur was elected as senior vice-president, Baba Buta Singh junior vice-president and Amarjit Singh Chahal general secretary.
Others in the 11 member committee are Surjit Singh Kalabula, Jaipal Singh Mandian, Nirmal Singh, Kulwant Singh Manan, Satpal Singh Talwandi Bhai, Balwinder Singh Vayeepui, Gurmail Singh Sangatpura, Bibi Joginder Kaur Bhatinda, Gurcharan Singh Garewal, Surjit Singh Bhittewad and Ram Singh.
Badungar’s name was proposed by Cabinet Minister Tota Singh and seconded by former SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur and Navtej Singh Kaoni, according to Tribune News Service report.
The choice of the SGPC executive members bears the stamp of party president Sukhbir Singh Badal, the TNS report said, quoting unnamed sources.
On the political front, the same analyst told Asia Samachar that Badungar’s appointed was an attempt by Sukhbir to grab back some Panthic votes in the up-coming elections, but is a mere stop gap appointment.
“He has little chance of out surviving Sukhbeer. The advisor is old, the king young. There is no need to struggle to oust if the need arises
“Badungar could have been a unifying force to correct the rot in the Akal Takhat, SGPC, Sikh Reht Maryada (SRM)…but it’s too late. The power brokers won’t let him move even if he tried. He is simply a stop gap because Makkar was becoming too much of a liability,” said the analyst.
In its report, Hindustan Times described Badungar as mild mannered leader with a clean image.
“Among the available lot of SGPC members, he (Badungar) is the best. He is experienced and knows inside out of Sikh history and ethos. To head this institution in line with the aspirations of the panth is a big challenge and Badungar is capable of performing to the satisfaction of one and all,” Punjabi University vice-chancellor Dr Jaspal Singh told the newspaper.
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