THE Namdhari dera sect slugfest following the murder of its matriarch Chand Kaur has begun to take on a political colour. On Saturday, Thakur Dalip Singh, the estranged brother of the present sect chief Uday Singh, announced support for SAD-BJP alliance on Saturday, during the separate bhog ceremony he had organised for Chand Kaur at his dera in Sirsa.
Addressing thousands of his followers, he announced that he completely supported the Badals. He also referred to the BJP and said ‘SAD is being supported by the Rashtriya Sangh which is working for Swadeshi movement.
“Namdharis too want to promote Indian products and services,” he said. “People ask me why I speak in favour of the Badals. Today, I am favouring Parkash Singh Badal, not because he is chief minister but due to the fact that he is the true follower of Satguru late Jagjit Singh. Though Congress CM late Beant Singh also did a lot for us but not as much as the Badals have done. They established the Satguru Ram Singh Chair in 2001 to research and study Namdhari history. They also allotted land for memorials of Namdhari martyrs in Malerkotla. We fully support the SAD-BJP alliance,” he announced.
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He also ‘thanked’ Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his administration for the security arrangements at bhog ceremony on Saturday and urged the ‘Punjab and Haryana governments to help in reuniting the Guru family.’
Political leaders to throng Bhaini Sahib
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, newly-appointed Punjab BJP president Vijay Sampla and AAP national spokesperson Sanjay Singh are expected to attend the bhog ceremony at Bhaini Sahib on Sunday. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Badal had attended Chand Kaur’s cremation.
AAP’s Sukhpal Singh Khaira and SAD minister Bikram Singh Majithia visited Bhaini Sahib on Saturday. From the Congress, MP Ravneet Bittu, former MLA Darshan Brar, CLP leader Charanjit Singh Channi and MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu have already visited Bhaini Sahib.
Traditionally associated with Congress, the Namdhari sect began to wean away from the party after an alleged rift between the then chief, Satguru late Jagjit Singh, who was very close to former Punjab CM Beant Singh, and Captain Amarinder Singh. The Namdhari Satguru clan later grew closer to the Badals and supported SAD in the 2007 and 2012 polls.
Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, BJP veteran L K Advani are among those who have visited the dera with CM Parkash Singh Badal. There are good reasons for the parties to woo the sect as it has the power to influence over six lakh voters.