Dera Sacha Sauda asks followers to heed ‘conscience’ for voting

May 5th, 2009 - 12:47 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Sirsa (Haryana), May 4 (IANS) After days of dilly-dallying, the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect Monday asked its millions of followers to use their “conscience” while voting in the parliamentary elections.
The direction came from the sect’s political affairs wing.

The sect, which has scores of followers in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, can influence the outcome of voting in favour of any party or candidate. However, it did not give any clear direction to its followers on whether to vote for the Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or Akali Dal.

Congress leaders in Punjab were openly soliciting support of the sect for the general election this time also. Pujab goes to the polls May 7 and 13.

A Dera spokesman said here there was no “party-specific” strategy by the sect but followers were asked to follow the path of the 7-point code of conduct for voting.

The code debars politicians who are directly or indirectly involved in distributing drugs, are morally or materially corrupt; are atheist or non-secular; ignore instances of female foeticide or take recourse to hooliganism.

The spokesman added that followers were free to back individual candidates irrespective of party affiliations.

The sect had openly supported the Congress in the February 2007 assembly polls in Punjab but had to face the wrath of the Akalis when the sect chief, Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh got involved in a controversy after attiring himself like 10th Sikh guru, Gobind Singh.

The controversial sect chief has been charged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in two cases of murder conspiracy and one case of rape of a female follower.

A number of political leaders have made a beeline in recent days to seek “blessings” of the sect chief irrespective of the controversies surrounding him.

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