A week before release of his film ‘Messenger of God’, the visit of self-acclaimed saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to Indore on Wednesday, created flutter in BJP circles.
The Haryana-based spiritual teacher, who came to promote the film here, is being seen as a move to return the favour.
During the Haryana assembly elections held in October-November 2014, election in-charge and state urban development minister Kailash Vijayvargiya called on the spiritual leader along with Haryana’s BJP candidates to seek his blessings in party’s favour.
As Singh has a huge following in Sirsa and surrounding area of Haryana, Vijayvargiya’s move paid off. The saffron party won assembly elections in Haryana with majority.
A week ago, Vijayvargiya announced in Bhopal that services of Singh’s organisation Dera Sacha Sauda will be taken during Simhasatha scheduled in Ujjain next year.
On Wednesday, Singh was given a rousing welcome led by former BJP MLA and ex-state Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha president Jitu Jirati who belongs to the Vijayvargiya camp.
“I met him during the Haryana assembly elections. I am awed by his contribution on de-addiction,” Jirati told HT.
The local Sikh community has avoided commenting on Singh and his movie. Shri Guru Singh Sabha general secretary Jasbir Singh Gandhi said Dera chief doesn't belong to the community and he is free to do what he wants. It may be mentioned that members of Sikh community and Dera followers had clashed during Haryana assembly elections. In past, there were court cases against Dera chief for hurting Sikh sentiments.
Read: Dera Sacha Sauda chief arrives in Indore; followers throng airport
'I've done nothing bad'
I have nothing to hide, nor have I done anything bad, said Singh when asked about the recent report of CBI which accused him of forced castration at his Ashram in Haryana. Singh was addressing a press conference in Indore on Wednesday.
“People have said a thousand things, but I know these are attempts to stop me as they are scared of the mass love and support I have with me,” he said.
He was welcomed with fervour by his devotees at the venue, who had come from far off places like Bhind, Morena, Lucknow and Bhopal.
Two sisters from Bhopal named Anita and Ruma Insai also came to catch a glimpse of their ‘babaji’. Following him for 15 years, they said that their father was alcoholic but he left it within seven days because of the prasad given by him.
A similar story was shared by Rukmani Vidhu, a 45-year-old follower from Indore. She said, “I have been waiting for him since 9 in the morning. He has done more than what we can expect for us. My entire family follows him.”
The press conference was largely hijacked by his devotees and saw him singing a song from the movie on de-addiction which was supported by loud chants and applause from the crowd. About using the word Insaan as his last name, he said this is because he is first of all a human being and then a messenger.