TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS: NO ACCESS BBC
India's Sikh apex body re-elects Avatar Singh Makkar as its chief.
Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the governing body of Sikh shrines across India re-elects Avtar Singh Makkar for the sixth time as its chief after the polls are conducted at Amritsar in the northern state of Punjab.
AMRITSAR, PUNJAB, INDIA (NOVEMBER 16, 2010) (ANI-NO ACCESS BBC)
1. EXTERIOR OF THE OFFICE OF THE SIKH APEX BODY, THE SHIROMANI GURUDWARA PRABANDHAK COMMITTEE (SGPC)
2. AVTAR SINGH MAKKAR, NEWLY RE-ELECTED SGPC CHIEF WALKING WITH OTHER MEMBERS
3. BIBI JAGIR KAUR, WALKING WITH OTHER MEMBERS
4. A SIKH LEADER ADDRESSING A GATHERING
5. PEOPLE SITTING
6. MAKKAR SITTING
7. PEOPLE SITTING
8. LEADERS SITTING
9. BIBI JAGIR KAUR INTERACTING WITH A MAN
10. (SOUNDBITE) (Punjabi) AVTAR SINGH MAKKAR, NEWLY RE-ELECTED CHIEF OF SHIROMANI GURDWARA PRABANDHAK COMMITTEE (SGPC), SAYING: "In the election of SGPC, out of 156 votes, Avatar Singh Makkar won by 133 votes and Bhajan Singh bagged 26 votes; So Avtar Singh Makkar is announced as a new SGPC chief."
12. MAKKAR STANDING WITH OTHER MEMBERS
13. MEDIA PERSONS
STORY: Avtar Singh Makkar was re-elected as the head of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), the apex governing body of Sikh shrines across India at Amritsar in northern state of Punjab.
Results of the elections to this prime body were disclosed on Tuesday (November 16).
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the ruling party of Punjab state had backed Makkar for this coveted post.
The elections were held at the Teja Singh Samundari Hall in SGPC Headquarter premises and under the presence of five head priests, who are non-voting members of the SGPC.
Total of 156 votes were cast in the SGPC election out of which Avtar Singh Makkar bagged 133 votes and was duly elected for the sixth time defeating Bhajan Singh who bagged 23 votes.
SGPC is regarded as the mini parliament of the Sikhs.
"In the election of SGPC, out of 156 votes, Avatar Singh Makkar won by 133 votes and Bhajan Singh bagged 26 votes; So Avtar Singh Makkar is announced as a new SGPC chief," said Avtar Singh Makkar.
The SGPC governs all Sikh shrines and schools across India, receiving donations to the tune of billions every year and holds considerable power in moulding the community's ideologies and political inclinations.
Though considered apolitical, the SGPC polls, held once in every five years, are always fought on political lines.
The SGPC was formed in 1925 in accordance with a British law. Earlier the control of Gurudwaras was in the hands of individuals.
SGPC also defines the outline of Punjab politics in general and particular in Sikh politics. It has also been behind the origin and development of Sikh polity.