Newly appointed Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Capt Amarinder will begin his stint in office with visits to religious dera heads in the state.
His close aides revealed to The Indian Express that the decision to visit all the important deras in the state, who have considerable influence on votebanks, was taken immediately after the PPCC chief assumed office.
To begin with, Amarinder would visit Dera Radha Soami Satsang in Beas on Friday, said sources close to him.
Dera Sachkhand in Ballan near Jalandhar, Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan of Baba Ashutosh in Nurmehal, Bhaini Sahib of Namdharis, Dera Dhesian and Dharddrianwala are next in line.
The head of Radha Soami Satsang in Beas is visiting Singapore in the coming days, which is why Amarinder wants to see him before the dera head flies aborad, said an Amarinder confidant.
However, the PPCC chief is unlikely to pay a visit to the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa given the controversy surrounding its chief, Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim, over the Akal Takht’s pardon to him for alleged blashemy.
“For the time being we are not looking at visiting Sirsa as Sikhs are very upset with the dera head in view of the recent developments,” said a legislator, owing allegiance to Amarinder.
The Sirsa dera head is related to Congress leader Harminder Jassi who was the party’s nominee for Talwandi Sabo byelection. Jassi lost badly.