A year after he appeared before the Akal Takht and underwent religious punishment (tankhah) for attending a congregation of Dera Sacha Sauda, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member Navtej Singh Kauni was again spotted at a dera congregation on Thursday, ahead of the zila parishad and block samiti elections.
An SGPC member from Doda, Kauni was present at the congregation held at Bhullar village.
The Akal Takht had issued a 'hukamnama' or edict to all Sikhs to boycott the dera after its head Ram Rahim Singh allegedly hurt the sentiments of the community in 2007.
Earlier, Hindustan Times had reported that Kauni was lobbying hard to secure a SAD ticket for the Kauni zila parishad zone for dera follower Lal Singh.
Doda falls in Gidderbaha constituency, where a fight between the Congress and the SAD in the coming elections is being watched with interest since it is one constituency where the Congress has been contesting on all seats.
Kauni's presence at the dera congregation is seen as linked to the May 19 elections since he has been luring dera followers ahead of voting.
Earlier, he had attended the dera congregation in December 2011, a month ahead of the assembly elections in January 2012. His efforts had proved futile as the SAD lost the election from Gidderbaha.
Kauni had to appear before the Akal Takht in April 2012 and was directed to clean utensils at the langar hall of Harmandar Sahib for 15 days. He had also given his word that he would follow the Akal Takht orders.
It remains to be seen if the Akal Takht would again initiate action against the SGPC member or not.