As many as 44 political leaders have been asked to appear before the Akal Takht in Amritsar on Monday for cosying up to Dera Sacha Sauda despite its edict to socially boycott the sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, after a meeting with five Sikh high priests, had asked the 44 leaders belonging to Akali Dal (29), Congress (14) and Aam Aadmi Party (1) to appear at the Akal Takht secretariat at noon on Monday to give explanation for their conduct.
Prominent Akali leaders who have been summoned include Sikander Singh Maluka, Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Jeet Mohinder Sidhu, Dilraj Soingh Bhundar, Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Surjit Rakhra, Darbara Singh Guru and Manpreet Singh Ayaali.
Among the summoned Congress leaders are Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon and Arjun Singh, son of Congress minister Manpreet Badal. The lone AAP leader in the list is Narinder Singh Sandha from Ferozepur.
A controversy erupted in the run-up to the Punjab assembly elections on February 4 after SAD candidates from various constituencies in Bathinda and Mansa districts attended a dera’s congregation in Bathinda. Some party leaders even went on to announce that it will facilitate satsangs of the dera head in Punjab despite the fact that the Akal Takht had called upon Sikhs for his social boycott.
Among those summoned, 29 are those who allegedly went to Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa and 15 participated in congregations held outside the dera.
Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said anyone failing to appear will face action as per ‘maryada’.