BARELY FIVE days before Punjab goes to the polls, Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Monday addressed his followers through video-conferencing. It was expected that the Dera chief would convey his message to his followers asking them to support a particular political party in the forthcoming polls. However, nothing of the sort happened. The Dera chief promoted his upcoming movie – Hind Ka Napaak ko Jawaab LionHeart-2.
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The Sirsa-based political wing of the dera had been touring Punjab for over the last 10 days. The dera is considered to have a massive following in Malwa area affecting 69 seats out of 117 in Punjab. Although the Dera chief did not give a clear signal to his followers, he asked them to “remain united”. During the video-conferencing, Dera chief also replied to a few queries from the media. In reply to one of those queries regarding support to any political party in Punjab, Dera chief said, “We have not taken any decision on that. I have asked the sangat [his followers] to remain united”.
A number of politicians visit the Dera Sacha Sauda before the polls seeking the Dera’s support. In 2014 Vidhan Sabha polls in Haryana, all the BJP candidates went to Sirsa seeking the dera’s support, which they eventually got. After Haryana came to power, all the 47 elected MLAs of BJP had gone to Sirsa to thank the dera chief for his support.