Nijjar to face off against Pal in battle for control of Chief Khalsa Diwan - Hindustan Times
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Nijjar to face off against Pal in battle for control of Chief Khalsa Diwan

By, Amritsar
Feb 07, 2024 08:50 AM IST

With the countdown starting for the Chief Khalsa Diwan (CKD) elections, factions led by incumbent president and Amritsar South AAP MLA Dr Inderbir Singh Nijjar and retired revenue official Surinderjit Singh Pal have begun electioneering for control of the 120-year-old Sikh organisation

With the countdown starting for the Chief Khalsa Diwan (CKD) elections, factions led by incumbent president and Amritsar South AAP MLA Dr Inderbir Singh Nijjar and retired revenue official Surinderjit Singh Pal have begun electioneering for control of the 120-year-old Sikh organisation, which runs over 50 institutions in the fields of education, social welfare, health and religious preaching across the state.

The Chief Khalsa Diwan (CKD) runs over 50 institutions in the fields of education, social welfare, health and religious preaching across the state. (HT Photo)
The Chief Khalsa Diwan (CKD) runs over 50 institutions in the fields of education, social welfare, health and religious preaching across the state. (HT Photo)

The Dr Nijjar-led group has fielded Santokh Singh Sethi and Jagjit Singh for the posts of vice-presidents, and Sawinder Singh Kathunangal and Ajit Singh Basra for the posts of honourary secretaries. Meanwhile, Kuljit Singh Sahni will contest for the post of resident president.

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From the Surinderjit Singh Pal-led group, Sarabjit Singh and Amarjit Singh Vikrant will be candidates for the posts of vice-presidents, Jaswinder Singh Dhillon and Ramneek Singh for the posts of honorary secretaries, and Sukhdev Singh Mattewal will be candidate for resident president post.

Returning officers Jaspal Singh, professor Sukhbir Singh and advocate Inderjit Singh said all the candidates have filed their nomination papers. After scrutiny of these papers, a final list of candidates will be issued on February 8.

There are around 500 members in the organisation. Election of office bearers is held after every five years. During the byelection held in 2022, a total 329 members cast their vote. In these elections slated for February 18, around 400 members are expected to appear to take part in the poll process.

Both groups have intensified the campaign to woo members of the CKD, and they are holding meetings across the state.

Former cabinet minister Dr Nijjar is hoping to cruise to a second term on the basis of his performance. “Following the vision of founder Bhai Vir Singh, the CKD is achieving new milestones in the field of education and social welfare and working in a transparent way. We will continue to execute Bhai Vir Singh’s vision”, said Dr. Nijjar.

Meanwhile, the opposition is contesting the polls under the banner of the ‘CKD Bachao Front’. Corruption in the organisation and expulsion of several members is among the key issues being raised by this group. “The front is contesting the elections with an aim to uproot graft, betterment of the organisational system and upgrading standard of the educational institutions of the CKD”, said Pal, who retired as chief income tax commissioner.

A member of the CKD, on the condition of anonymity, said the ruling group has the advantage that Dr Nijjar belongs to the ruling party of Punjab and has an upper hand, but the Opposition is also making tireless efforts to secure victory in these elections . “It enjoys the support of many old members, who had an association with former president Nirmal Singh and honourary secretary Bhag Singh Ankhi, and wield considerable influence in the organisation,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Surjit Singh is a correspondent. He covers politics and agriculture, besides religious affairs and Indo-Pak border in Amritsar and Tarn Taran.

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