Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Capt Amarinder Singh and party affairs in-charge for the state,Gulchain Singh Charak,along with several other party leaders visited Dera Sachkand Ballan near Jalandhar on Tuesday.
While the leaders spent more than 20 minutes with Dera head Sant Niranjan Dass and Sant Surinder Dass Bawa,the party sources said it was a courtesy call to seek their blessings and that there were no discussions on elections.
However,Amarinders visit to the Dera,just six days ahead of januray 30 when the state goes to polls,is being seen as significant as the religious outfit commands a huge following runnning inti lakhs.
It has been learnt that Dera follower and former local bodies minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh,Punjab Youth Congress president Vikramjit Chaudhary,Seth Satpal Mall who was seeking Congress ticket from Jalandhar West and former Improvement Trust chairman Tejinder Bittu accompanied Amarinder to the Dera,but some of them didnt attend the closed-door meeting.
Sources claimed that the party leaders sought the Dera Heads blessings offered them sweets.
It may be noted that Dera Ballan has already made it displeasure with the SAD-BJP government public and was also not in favour of Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati owing to their indifferent attitude after the attack on the head and deputy head of Dera Ballan in Vienna (Austria) in 2009,in which Ramanand was shot dead while Niranjan Das survived. Dera Ballan had announced its separate religion – Ravidasia – and a separate Granth (scripture) – Satguru Amritbani – in 2010.
It may be noted that a few days back Charak had also visited another Dera,Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan (DJJS),in Noormahal,which also boasts of a sizeable number of followers in the state,particularly in Jalandhar and Ludhiana districts.
Preneet meets Rahim
Union Minister Preneet Kaur and son Raninder Singh who is contesting from Samana seat in Patiala went to the Dera Sacha Sauda at around 12 today,sources in the Dera have confirmed.
The duo sought the blessings of Gurmit Ram Rahim. The Dera,however,is learnt to have given no assurance of support.
A final decision on who to support will be taken in a few days. It will depend on individual merit of candidates, the sources added. Kaur confirmed the visit.