Punjab cabinet minister doesn’t toe Congress line, not averse to support from Sirsa derahttps://indianexpress.com/elections/capt-minister-doesnt-toe-congress-line-not-averse-to-support-from-sirsa-dera-5633050/

Punjab cabinet minister doesn’t toe Congress line, not averse to support from Sirsa dera

Asked specifically if Congress requires the dera’s support, he said, “Every man’s support is needed”.

Punjab cabinet minister, Dera supporters, Capt amarinder singh, amarinder singh govt, Dera Sacha Sauda, Punjab, election news
Punjab Forest and Social Welfare Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot (Centre)

Going against the Congress stand of not seeking support from the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda, a Punjab cabinet minister Monday hinted that the party will “seek support from every citizen” of India in the Lok Sabha polls.

“Congress party poore Desh nu pyar kardi hai, Desh vich saare vasde ne, Saare desh wasiyan di lorh hai (Congress party loves entire country, where all countrymen live and we need every citizen’s support),” Punjab Forest and Social Welfare Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot said here.

He was replying to queries on whether the Congress will seek support from the Sirsa-based dera’s supporters.

Asked specifically if Congress requires the dera’s support, he said, “Every man’s support is needed”.

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Dharamsot’s remark comes three days after Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar declared that his party will not seek support from the Dera Sacha Sauda followers. Jakhar had also dared SAD president Sukhbir Badal to come clear on his party’s stand. On Saturday, Sukhbir announced that “as a Sikh and as the president of the Akali Dal, I will go by the dictum of the supreme body of the Sri Akal Takht Sahib,” Sukhbir said.

The Akal Takht had ex-communicated the Sirsa-based dera in an alleged blasphemy case of 2007.

This is not the first time that Dharamsot has made his intentions clear on seeking support from the Dera Sacha Sauda.

Soon after a CBI court in Panchkula in 2017 sentenced dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim to 20 years for rape of two sadhvis, Dharmsot had admitted that he had visited the sect’s headquarters ahead of the state assembly election to seek support.

He had said “if need be” he might go there again for the same purpose. “Jithe Tak Ram Rahim da sawal hai, asin political adami han, election vich fasse hunde han, main bhi gaya see vote lain dere vich, shayad agge bhi janwan (As for as Ram Rahim is concerned, we are political men and in the middle of the elections. I went to dera to seek vote and it is likely that I may go there in future too),” he had said, adding that the need was “to make improvement instead of throwing out someone”.

On the cases pertaining to Behbal Kalan and Bargari firing incidences, Dharamsot said a probe is on and “every step is being taken to punish the guilty”.

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