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SAD gets support of Dera Sacha Sauda with the promise to allow its head to hold congregations in Punjab

February 01, 2017 07:51 PM

Punjab News Express/Satinder Bains
 In a move which could pose serious threat to peace in Punjab, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) has got support of controversial dera Sacha Sauda on the promise to allow the dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to hold his congregations in Punjab. The SAD was earlier opposed to dera meetings due to pressure from radical Sikh organisations.The SAD an alliance partner of BJP is facing strong anti-incumbency in assembly elections and fearing defeat in the hands of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The SAD and Congress have been targeting AAP for being taking help from radical Sikhs. The SAD which had started its election campaign on the issue of development has changed its strategy finding no takers of their plank. The BJP, SAD and Congress suddenly invoked issue of national security and threatened serious consequences if AAP is voted to power.

It is learnt that SAD MLA from Talwandi Sabo Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu had told a meeting of dera premis that SAD will given permission to hold congregations of dera chief in Punjab while extending thanks for the support. The dera has its clout in Southern Malwa districts where SAD is fearing maximum opposition. It is not yet how much the dera votes would help SAD-BJP to regain their lost ground but one thing is clear that Nadal family is playing with the fire and their indulgence with Dera may spark violence in Punjab.
Earlier Sukhbir Badal had managed an order from Akal Takht to exonerate him. Dera head was excommunicated by Sikh priests for wearing the attire similar of Guru Gobind Singh and distorting Gurbani. The Akal Takht edict was withdrawn after objections by Sikh bodies. Badal family had been taking support of dera in the previous elections too but the dera had supported Congress in the 2012 assembly elections and to Badal family on seats from where they were contesting. The Congress had however lost the last elections.
The dera sacha sauda had also supported SAD-BJP alliance in Delhi assembly elections but its support had failed to save SAD-BJP alliance from a humiliating defeat. Dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim is facing many cases of rape and murder and yet some of the complaints are pending with CBI. It is understood that BJP ruling at center might have exerted pressure on dera head to support the alliance.
Badal family which was at margin in state politics had played the last card and virtually shunned the Sikh votes. The Badals would use dera support as tool to beat the anti-incumbency. The impact of dera support would be visible in days to come.

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