February 3, 2017 | By Parmjeet Singh
Chandigarh: As per a news report in a Punjabi vernacular (the Punjabi Tribune) the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday (Feb. 02) said that anyone seeking ‘welfare of Punjab’ could extend support to Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal). ‘Even if its Dera Sirsa, all are welcome’ (Bhaven uh dera sirsa hove, sab da savagat hai), Badal reportedly said. He was talking to media persons at Sunam on last day of canvassing for Punjab elections.
Badal Dal patron also maintained that the decision to support SAD (B) in assembly elections was taken by Dera Sauda Sirsa independently and SAD (B) had not ‘approached’ the Dera for help.
It is notably that few days before Dera’s announcement to support Badal Dal in the assembly elections, there were reports in media that a number of Punjab politicians and candidates of various political parties, including leaders and candidates had visited Dera Sauda Sirsa headquarter to seek controversial dera chief’s “blessings”. A few days after it Badal Dal and Dera Sirsa’s political wing held a joint event at Jeet Palace Bathinda where Badal Dal candidate from Talwandi Sabo, Jeetmohinder Sidhu, ‘promised’ to hold event of controversial dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in Punjab.
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Sikh sections have reacted sharply against Badal Dal’s move to join hands with Dera chief in clear violation of 17 May, 2007 Hukumnama of the Akal Takht Sahib.