Delhi 2020

Dera Sacha Sauda pledges to back BJP

hand of support:The sect has also urged its followers to support the four Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) candidates.—photo: Vipin Chandran

hand of support:The sect has also urged its followers to support the four Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) candidates.—photo: Vipin Chandran  

In a move that is likely to have a bearing on the Delhi Assembly polls, the Dera Sacha Sauda headed by controversial godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim pledged its support to the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The sect also urged its followers in Delhi to support the four candidates of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), which has a seat sharing arrangement with the BJP.

Making the announcement, the chairman of the sect’s political affairs wing, Ram Singh, said the BJP can expect the support of the around 15 lakh followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim in the city.

In a separate statement, the Dera’s political wing in Delhi said the sect head was impressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiatives like the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and the campaign against drugs.

Earlier, the Dera had also given a similar call of support to the BJP ahead of voting day in the Haryana Assembly elections in October 2014. With its headquarters in Sirsa, the Dera has a large following in Haryana and Punjab and claims to have about 50 million followers across the globe.

Of late, the Dera has been in the news for Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s controversial movie, MSG: Messenger of God, which had evoked strong protests from the Akalis in Punjab and Haryana as also the Indian National Lok Dal in Haryana.

Due to the protests, the Union Home Ministry had even issued an advisory to the two States. Subsequently, the SAD government in Punjab had banned its release.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2020 4:42:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/delhi-assembly/dera-sacha-sauda-pledges-to-back-bjp/article6863145.ece

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