Politics News

A Night in Gurudwara, Meeting with Controversial Faith-Healer: Punjab CM’s Religious Outreach Mission

From Deras to prominent saints, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi seems to be on a religious outreach mission ahead of the forthcoming state assembly elections. On Thursday, on his schedule is dinner with saints from the Sikh community and a meeting with Christian community members in Moga, a politically critical centre in the Malwa region.

Capping the day, Channi will spend the night at a Gurudwara at Shaheed Baba Tega Singh Gurudwara at Chand Purana village in the Moga district. But before that, he will address a public rally at Baghapurana town, and preside over the installing ceremonies of the statue of Maharaja Agrasen in the old grain market, Baba Jassa Singh Ramgaria at Baghapurana by-pass on the outskirts of Moga city and participate in the foundation laying ceremony of a church at Lohara Chowk on the outskirts of Moga city. This programme among others would also be attended by Bollywood actor Sonu Sood and his sister Malvika Sood who is aspiring to contest from Moga for the forthcoming elections.

But what has raised eyebrows is that the programme is going to be addressed by self-styled faith healer Bajinder Singh, who has had a controversial past. Singh was reportedly arrested in 2018 on charges of rape of a woman who was part of his security team. Despite the controversial past, Singh has millions of followers on YouTube and political observers point out that Channi’s presence in the programme is just an attempt to reach out to the Christian community in the State.

With elections just some months away, political parties are trying to woo religious organisations and prominent saints. Though at times political leaders end up meeting controversial figures. “Meeting up with religious leaders is nothing new, they get in touch with leaders who indirectly help them to get in touch with the mass base in their respective communities. The leaders are well aware of some of them even have a controversial past. But it’s the numbers which are important,” admitted a leader.

Recently, even SAD supremo Sukhbir Badal and his wife and former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal visited the Nanaksar Thath Gurudwara near Jagraon in Ludhiana district and Anand Ishwar Darbar Thath at Badhni Kalan in Moga district, respectively.

Even Channi has visited several deras after taking over as the CM.

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