Sensing bad optics, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has dropped from his itinerary an event which could have had him sitting alongside a self-styled controversial faith healer in Moga on Thursday.
Channi was to attend the function to lay the foundation stone of a church on the outskirts of Moga. But what had raised eyebrows was that the programme was going to be addressed by self-styled faith healer Baljinder Singh who has had a controversial past.
Singh was reportedly arrested in 2018 on charges of raping a woman who was part of his security team. Despite the controversial past, Singh has millions of followers on YouTube and political observers were linking Channi’s presence in the programme as just an attempt to reach out to the Christian community in the state.
However, given the media reports and bad optics he has dropped the plan to attend the function. Meanwhile, actor Sonu Sood also clarified on Twitter that he was not attending any event and would be shooting in Mumbai.
I am not attending any function in Punjab this month so kindly don’t believe in any false news. I am busy shooting in mumbai for next few days. https://t.co/49XbcrbqeT— sonu sood (@SonuSood) November 24, 2021
Channi’s revised scheduled will however continue with spending the night at a Gurudwara at Shaheed Baba Tega Singh Gurudwara at Chand Purana village in Moga district. He will also 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 bye-pass on the outskirts of Moga.
The Moga visit is being seen as an attempt at outreach to religious organizations by the Punjab CM.
With elections just some months away, political parties are trying to woo religious organisations and prominent saints. Recently, even SAD supremo Sukhbir Badal and his wife and former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal visited the Nanaksar Thath Gurudwara at Nanaksar near Jagraon in Ludhiana district and Anand Ishwar Darbar Thath at Badhni Kalan in Moga district, respectively. Even Channi has visited several deras in the state after taking over as the CM.
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