Chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) and Phillaur SAD member of legislative assembly (MLA) Avinash Chandar on Monday tried to show his might by managing to get the support of politically important Dera of Ravindassia community.
Dera Ballan head Sant Niranjan Dass not only laid the foundation stone of the ‘entry gate’ planned by the CPS in Phillaur in the name of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) founder Kanshi Ram, but Dera speakers also showered praises on Avinash calling him ‘qaum da heera’ (a diamond of Ravidassia community).
Speaking on behalf of the Dera head (the Dera head doesn’t give speeches), senior Dera functionary Sant Lekh Raj termed the CPS, who is facing Enforcement Directorate (ED) cases in the Bhola drug racket case, a towering Ravidassia community leader, who is working overtime to uplift the community. “Eh sadi qaum da heera hai, te sanu isste maan hai,” Lekh Raj said in his address.
Other prominent representatives of the Dera Brahm Dass, Maiya Bhagwan, Sant Mangal Dass Ispur Wale and Sant Nagar Wale also attended the ceremony and followed Dera Ballan in praising Avinash.
Avinash, however, denied having any political motive by showing the support of Dera Ballan and others. However, sources close to Avinash disclosed that it was a “well crafted strategy” of the CPS to send clear signals to the SAD high command.
Sources in the SAD said that the CPS wanted to secure his political future in the SAD from some other assembly seat (mainly Kartarpur) and thus is trying to relent from Phillaur.
“the Dera head generally doesn’t attend such functions. By managing to get him at a function, Avinash has tried to show the SAD his worth,” said a senior SAD leader.
On July 31, Avinash had held ‘Dalit Chetna Rally’ in Apra village in his constituency and tried to show though the big gathering that he still enjoys huge backing in Phillaur.
After Khaira was inducted into the party last month, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was scheduled to visit Phillaur for sangat darshans in the last week of July. However, following tough postures taken by Avinash, the programme was postponed.
“Please don’t take these functions as my show of strength. I am a loyal SAD soldier and whatever the party will decide about me I will follow,” said the CPS.