Dera Sacha Sauda’s followers must only vote for the BJP in Haryana and Maharashtra elections, stressed Pardeep Kaler, national president of the sect’s political wing said in a press release here on Tuesday, seeking to clarify the matter after a video of the dera chief denying support to any party went viral online.
He said support to the BJP “is a unanimous decision of the sangat (devotees)”, and added: “The video is just a prank. It is very old. The decision to support the BJP still stands, and the dera Followers are united on that,” Kaler said.
On Monday, the dera’s political wing had announced at a press conference in Karnal that the sect that has influence in district bordering Punjab and Rajasthan was with the BJP. Headed by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the dera claims to have a following of “seven million people” in Haryana.
Last week, the BJP's Haryana in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya had led a team of 50 candidates to Sirsa for blessings of the dera chief.
After that, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also applauded the dera chief at the BJP rally in Sirsa.
In the past, the dera has supported the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab at different times, while also using the candidate-based support formula sometimes. But it is after several years that the sect has openly declared support to a party.