Upset with Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh since his support to the BJP cost it the election in Haryana, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) is determined to take it out on his movie "Messenger of God" (MSG) and not let it run in Punjab.
This opposition, however, has put the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), its alliance partner from the 2014 Haryana elections, in a fix. INLD student wing president Digvijay Singh Chautala, grandson of former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, on Saturday met Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in Delhi to ask him to ban the screening of this film in Punjab.
Digvijay told Sukhbir the INLD wouldn't let the movie, which features the controversial Sirsa dera head in the lead role, run even in Haryana. Sukhbir is also in charge of the home ministry in Punjab. "I told him the film has been made for converting the dera chief's black money into white," said Digvijay. Apart from being in politics, Digvijay and Sukhbir also share family relations.
Always avoiding speaking about the dera and its politics, the SAD is walking the tightrope now amid opposition from even Sikh bodies in Punjab where the movie's posters have been torn down at many places, even as the distributor has found a single-screen cinema house in Bathinda district for the January 16 premiere show.
"Sukhbir assured me of an appropriate decision. I am sure the movie will be banned in Punjab. We will also try to stop its screening in Rajsthan," said Digvijay. In the Haryana elections, the dera had supported the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is an Akali ally in Punjab.
The INLD did not let the BJP win any seat in dera's base district of Sirsa, yet the saffrons managed to form the government in Haryana. The INLD leaders blamed Ram Rahim after the election results but the SAD kept its opinion to itself.
The dera has mobilised 3,500 followers from Bathinda to guard the first show of 'MSG' in Gurgaon coming up on Sunday. The dera claimed people had bought the `2,000 tickets in advance and it had hired buses to get its followers to the theatre.