Gurmeet Ram Rahim Case: For Dera Sacha Sauda, Chief Minister and Central Ministers are Regular Visitors
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim is the sect’s third “master” and boasts of nearly 6 crore followers.
File photo of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. (Getty Images)
New Delhi: The reaction from followers on the court appearance of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh may have put the security establishment in Punjab and Haryana on edge, but it has revealed the kind of clout that religious sects command in these two northern states. It is, perhaps, because of this social influence of these Deras that politicians of all stripes are regular visitors at their centers.
Take Dera Sacha Sauda for instance. It is a sect based in Haryana’s Sirsa district and was founded in 1948. Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who is currently facing rape charges, is the sect’s third “master”. It boasts of nearly 6 crore followers. Since its headquarters in close to the Punjab-Haryana border, the Dera has huge influence over followers in both states. That is why it has seen VIP visitors like Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, senior BJP leader Anil Vij, former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, former Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal and senior Congress leader Deepender Singh Hooda.
Another major Dera is Dera Beasi, which derives its name from the town of Beas, where it is headquartered. Just 50 km from Amritsar, this Dera saw visits from the whos-who of the political world ahead of the 2017 Punjab Assembly. Visitors to Dera Beasi included Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and the Badal family.
Jalandhar-based Dera Sacha Khand has been another popular destination for netas. From Former President KR Narayan to BSP founder Kanshi Ram, this Dera has had a history of high-profile visitors. From the current crop of leaders, BSP chief Mayawati, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and the Badal family have all visited Dera Sacha Khand.
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