CHANDIGARH: In a major shot in the arm to the BJP during the run-up to the Haryana and Maharashtra Assembly polls, the Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) led by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on Monday declared its support for the BJP candidates in the two poll-bound states.
“The 15 member- political wing, of the Dera took the decision to support all the 90 candidates of the BJP in Haryana and as we have a pan-India following we have also decided to support the BJP in Maharashtra after a meeting,’’ said Rakesh a member of the DSS’ political wing.
Another member of the political wing of the Dera Kastoor said the decision has been taken on the basis of the feedback from the followers, which has representatives at the village and block- level. However, he made it clear that the decision was taken by the DSS political wing and that the DSS chief was not involved.
Meanwhile, the AAP has condemned the BJP for taking the DSS’ support and also flayed the DSS for deciding to back the saffron party. Incidentally, at his recent rally in Sirsa -- which is regarded as the stronghold of Chautalas and also a DSS pocketborough -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi had showered praise on Ram Rahim. He had said, “I salute Ram Singhji, Mastanji’s Sacha Sauda).’’
The Dera chief, on his part, had hailed Modi over his Swachh Bharat Mission. At a weekly congregation, he said Modi was doing a good job as the country’s PM and it was laudable that he had decided to take up the ‘safai’ (cleanliness) campaign. Sources said that the leaders and candidates of almost all the political parties,including the Congress, the BJP, the INLD and the HJC had called on Ram Rahim to seek the DSS’ support. Though outwardly the DSS remains apolitical, it is believed that it issues directions to followers to either vote en masse for a particular party or some individual candidate.
Rape Charges Taint Rahim Image
Interestingly, Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim is facing a CBI probe over the alleged rape of two sadhvis (dera inmates) and the murders of dera manager Ranjit Singh and Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chander Chatterpatti.