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BACK IN BUSINESS Political parties seek Dera support in Haryana

April 25, 2019 05:44 AM


Political parties seek Dera support in Haryana
Jaskaran Singh TNN


With the process of filing nominations over in Haryana, political leaders have started to openly talk about Dera Sacha Sauda and seek support from this sect for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections that will be held in the state on May 12.

Be it Haryana chief minister (CM) Manohar Lal Khattar, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) Haryana president Ashok Arora, Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) Haryana president Nishan Singh or Congress national spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, all have spoken in public about the possibilities of taking a stand for Dera Sacha Sauda and seeking support for the upcoming polls.

On August 25, 2017, when the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Panchkula pronounced 20-year sentence to Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in connection with rape cases, thousands of dera followers had gone on vandalism and arson spree following which the police had to use the force to disperse the followers. About 40 persons were killed in police firing.

In a recent controversy, while campaigning for JJP Sirsa candidate Nirmal Singh Malri and speaking from a naam charcha ghar in Tohana on Sunday, Nishan Singh had allegedly compared the dera head to Jesus Christ and to 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh.

Meanwhile, Khattar had also expressed hope of support from the dera followers in the Lok Sabha elections.

On April 22 while addressing a public gathering in Ambala City before accompanying his party candidate Rampal Balmiki for filing nomination papers, INLD’s Arora had also compared police firing on the dera followers in Panchkula on August 25, 2017, with Jallianwala Bagh massacre. He had said, “We would seek support from every voter registered in this state as we do not have any grudge against anyone. We have no hesitation in going to the dera for seeking support.”

Similarly on April 23, while addressing the media in Kurukshetra before filing nomination papers of Congress candidate Nirmal Singh, party national spokesman Surjewala had also targeted the BJP government for Panchkula violence on dera followers

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