In a historic victory, Parvinder Kaur Banga has become the first woman to be elected as the president of NRI Sabha Punjab. The election, held in Jalandhar, saw Parvinder securing an overwhelming 147 votes, while her rival candidate, Jasvir Singh Gill, managed only 14 votes, with seven votes being rejected. The win marks a significant milestone for gender representation in the leadership of the NRI Sabha.
The election, however, was not without controversy, as Gill alleged that it was not a free and fair process, leading him to stage a dharna (sit-in) at the gate of the NRI Sabha office. Gill later vacated the premises after being warned of potential legal consequences by a police official. Parvinder, a native of Hoshiarpur with previous residency in Australia, expressed confidence in her victory ever since the announcement of the elections.
The election results received immediate recognition and support from NRI affairs minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, who visited the NRI Sabha office to felicitate Parvinder. Additionally, AAP MP Sushil Rinku and other political leaders extended their congratulations. Dhaliwal emphasized the proactive role NRI Sabha would play in addressing the grievances of Punjabis settled across the globe.
The election process, involving a total of 168 votes, witnessed Parvinder emerging as the clear winner with 147 votes in her favor. Gill, her opponent, could only secure 14 votes, and seven votes were declared invalid. While allegations of government interference were raised during the election, the NRI Affairs Minister and other leaders dismissed the claims.
The role of NRI Sabha Punjab, representing the interests of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), is crucial in fostering connections and addressing the concerns of Punjabis settled worldwide. The NRI Sabha Punjab, formally inaugurated in 1996, operates as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. The Chief Minister of Punjab serves as its Chief Patron, with the Divisional Commissioner or the Commissioner of NRI Affairs serving as the Chairman.
Parvinder Kaur Banga’s victory signifies a positive shift in leadership dynamics within the NRI Sabha Punjab and sets a precedent for increased gender inclusivity in such organizations.