Wednesday, January 18, 2012

As campaign hots up in Punjab, parties make beeline to deras

Come elections, and the religious ‘deras’ in Punjab become ‘must-visit’ centres for political parties to woo the followers. There are more than three dozen prominent ‘deras’ in the state with lakhs of followers.
While most of them do not openly support any party, the dera gurus indeed convey their preferences to their followers. During election days, it almost becomes mandatory for political leaders of the state to visit prominent deras and seek ‘blessings’ from the “babas”.
On Monday, more than 100 candidates belonging to the Akali Dal, the Congress, and other parties visited the Dera Sacha Sauda at Sirsa to seek blessings of its controversial chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, whose sect has more than three million followers in Punjab, particularly in the Malwa belt.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh faces charges of murder and rape of a ‘sadhvi’ and has been involved in a major controversy with the Sikh community since April 2007 for allegedly dressing like 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh.

with thanks : DNAINDIA : link in headline above for detailed news.

No comments: