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Sehajdhari Sikhs to support Congress in Gurdaspur bypoll

Gurdaspur, Oct 7 (UNI) The Sehajdhari Sikh Party(SJP) on Saturday announced unconditional support to Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar in the October 11 Gurdaspur Lok Sabha by-election.

Addressing a press conference here, SJP national president Paramjit Singh Ranu claimed there are approximately 4.5 lakh Sehajdhari Sikhs in Gurdaspur Parliamentary constituency and said this is going to be a big challenge for the BJP and the Modi-led National Democratic Alliance(NDA) which is dreaming of mission 2019 repeat to retain the seat.

Citing records of the Gurdwara Election Commission, Dr Ranu said in 2011 there were 4,19,586 keshdhari Sikh voters in Gurdaspur district and simultaneously an equal amount approximately 4.5 lakh Sehajdhari Sikhs were debarred from voting due to the notification of the NDA-led Union Government.

He said Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) voter list revealed that there were 38,097 Keshdhari Sikh voters in Batala constituency, 51,170 in Dera Baba Nanak, 53,412 in Dhariwal, 55,987 in Gurdaspur and 26,400 in Pathankot. There was an equal strength of Sehajdharis who were not enrolled as voters in Dina Nagar, Qadian, Fatehgarh Churian, Sujanpur and Bhoa and now the majority of the Sikhs with shorn hairs who are labeled as Patits and Sehajdhari Sikhs by Akalis and SGPC will get a chance to express their grievance through ballot against the BJP-Akali alliance, he added.