Captain meets Dhadrianwale, 3 months after attack, 6 months to polls

  • Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Aug 09, 2016 23:10 IST
Accompanied by MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh with Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwala at the latter’s sect headquarters, Gurdwara Parmeshwar Dwar, in Shekhupur village, 15 km from Patiala, on Tuesday. (Bharat Bhushan/HT Photo)

Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday held a closed-door meeting with Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale at his “dera” at Gurdwara Parmeshar Dwar near Shekhupura village, around 15km from Patiala.

This is the first meeting of the former chief minister with Dhadrianwale after an attack on the religious leader on May 17. The meeting holds significance in the run-up to the assembly elections as Dhadrianwale has a strong base in the Malwa region.

From the Congress, otherwise, former CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal had met Dhadrianwale soon after the attack. CM Parkash Singh Badal and even Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal have met the preacher.

Amarinder reached the dera without any information where he was accorded a VIP treatment. The meeting was arranged by state Congress vice-president MLA Sukhjinder Randhawa, Captain’s aide, who has already arranged his meetings with sect leaders, including Dera Sachkhand Ballan head Niranjan Dass, who hold the key to the Dalit vote bank, all prominent Sant Samanj leaders and Baba Sewa Singh of Rampur Khera, a prominent figure in the Doaba region.

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A known basher of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Dhadrianwale has a strong base in the Malwa belt of the state. Aam Aadmi Party had also tried to woo the Sikh preacher as Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal visited him after the May attack.

After meeting Dhadrianwale, Amarinder accused chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for attack on the Sikh preacher and other religious leaders. “Badal has come to know that he is set to lose power, thus he is playing his last card to disturb the peace in Punjab to scare voters. There is a set pattern in sacrilege incidents, attack on Dhadrianwale, murder of Namdhari sect matriarch Chand kaur and attack on Hindu leaders. And all this is being done by Badal and his team,” accused Amarinder.

“After Dhadrianwale narrated me about the attack, there is not iota of doubt that it was carried out with backing of the Badals. The Congress will support the Sikh preacher in the legal battle and after forming the government, it will arrest those involved in the murderous attack,” he said. He also accused the police of going soft on the case.


Amarinder also lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not giving a free hand to the armed forces to bring normalcy in the Kashmir valley. “I also feel there should be a dialogue with the all factions. But before that, normalcy should be restored. Modi is not allowing the use of power by the army and its demoralising our force. The army should be allowed to undertake its standard procedure to control the situation,” he said.


Attacking Jagmeet Brar, who termed Amarinder as a Khalistan ideologue, the former CM said: “The art of tattooing is famous these days, but no one knows that Jagmeet has tattooed “Khalistan” on his arm in the 1980s. Before attacking me, Brar must show his tattoo to the public,” he said.

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