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Rediff.com  » News » Amarinder seeks Dera chief's blessings for Punjab polls

Amarinder seeks Dera chief's blessings for Punjab polls

January 27, 2012 23:47 IST

Punjab Congress chief and former chief minister Amrinder Singh on Friday visited the Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa and met its chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to seek the support of the sect followers in favour of his party for the January 30 assembly polls.

As Singh visited the Dera, party general secretary Rahul Gandhi was also in Sirsa, though there was no confirmation of his visiting the sect chief.

Sources said Rahul and Singh later travelled together in a helicopter for addressing various rallies in the poll-bound state on Friday.

Rahul was accompanied by Congress leader Digvijay Singh.

Singh spent some time with the Dera chief and sought his blessings.

His visit assumes significance as the Dera's political affairs wing is holding parleys with supporters and followers to decide on extending crucial support to any party or candidate.

Sources said he could not get any clear cut assurance of support from the Dera chief or the political wing.

A number of top politicians of the state including CM Prakash Singh Badal and his son and Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, his estranged nephew and Punjab People's Party chief Manpreet Badal, besides MoS in External Affairs Preneet Kaur have already visited the Dera during he two-day conclave of its political affairs wing earlier this week.

The Dera had extended full support to the Congress in the last assembly polls in 2007 and the party is hoping to wrest power in the state from the Akalis with their help this time around too.

The Dera chief had courted controversy a few years ago after he hurt Sikh sentiments that led to bloody clashes between the Sikh hardliners and Dera supporters.

Incidentally, the father of the Dera chief's daughter-in-law Harminder Singh Jassi is contesting as a Congress candidate from Bathinda urban assembly seat.

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