The new president of the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) Gobind Singh Longowal was sentenced and punished for violating the Sikh code of edicts by Sri Akal TakhtSahib earlier this year after he was found to have canvassed votes from Dera Sirsa Ram Rahim during the 2017 Punjab Assembly elections.
Sri Akal Takht declared him ‘Tankhahia’, and though it does not make him ineligible for a post in SGPC, it is a badge that no Sikh wants to wear.
Two days before voting, Dera Sirsa had announced support for Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) candidates. It was an SGPC committee that probed, on Sri Akla Takht Sahib’s orders, how many Sikh politicians had asked Dera Sirsa Ram Rahim for votes during the elections. The three-member SGPC committee had submitted a list of 44 such politicians to Sri Akal Takht Sahib. Longowal, who contested from Sunam constituency on a SAD ticket but lost the election, was in that list.
Longowal was sentenced and asked to clean the heritage road leading at Sri Harmandir Sahib and also perform volunteer services like cleaning utensils, shoes and the floor inside Sri Harmandir Sahib for one day. He was also asked to organise Akhand Path of Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj to seek apology. He was paraded in front of Sri Akal Takht Sahib on April 17 earlier this year along with other accused Sikh politicians.