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Longowal elected 42nd SGPC chief 

Amritsar: The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) General House elected former Dhuri MLA Gobind Singh Longowal as the 42nd president during its annual meeting at Teja Singh Samundri Hall here today. Longowal, whose name was proposed by Bibi Jagir Kaur, replaces Kirpal Singh Badungar. Of the 170 members present, Hardeep Singh Mohali did not cast his vote in protest against “political interference” in SGPC affairs and the clergy’s “controversial” decisions.A former chairman of the Sangrur district planning board, Longowal defeated Amrik Singh Shahpur of Dera Baba Nanak, securing 154 votes. Shahpur, who polled 15 votes, was later included on the 11-member executive at the insistence of the Panthic Front,  constituted some weeks prior to the poll by Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, a former general secretary. The SGPC had to remove Jarnail Singh Kartarpur to make way for Shahpur. The other executive members are: Sajjan Singh Bajuman, advocate Bhagwant Singh Sialka, Lakhbir Singh, Bibi Gurpreet Kaur Kapurthala, Gurtej Singh Dadde, Hardev Singh Rogla, Ravinder Singh Chakmukerian, Gurmeet Singh Buh, Baba Gurmeet Singh Trilokewala and Navtej Singh.Gurbachan Singh Karmowala was elected general secretary, Raghujit Singh Karnal senior vice-president and Harpal Singh Jalla junior vice-president unopposed. Longowal said his top priority was propagating Sikhism. He ducked queries on the crisis within the community and “damage” to SGPC’s image. Former minister was awarded ‘tankhah’

  • Gobind Singh Longowal, a three-time MLA and a minister in the Badal Cabinet, was among 40 leaders awarded ‘tankhah’ (religious punishment) by Akal Takht for visiting Dera Sacha Sauda ahead of Assembly elections
  • The adopted son of the late Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, he won the Dhuri byelection in 2015, defeating  Congress-Sanjha Morcha candidate Simar Partap Singh, grandson of Surjit Singh Barnala
  • Longowal’s wife is a schoolteacher and younger sister Dr Inderjeet Kaur chairperson of the All-India Pingalwara Society

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