Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa

Won’t back BJP nominees, says Damdami Taksal

Amritsar, Punjab: In a significant move that may affect the poll prospects of the ruling SAD-BJP alliance, the Damdami Taksal today said it would only support SAD candidates and not the nominees of its alliance partner BJP.

Talking to The Tribune here, Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa said they had taken the decision after various rounds of talks with members of the Sant Samaj over the past few days. He said it was unanimously decided that religious organisations would not support any other party. He said they had decided to support the Akalis, who were the “true” representatives of the Panth. He pointed out that both the Congress and the BJP had opposed Operation Bluestar Memorial.

Though the move will benefit the SAD in rural areas where the Sant Samaj has a considerable clout, it does not augur well for the ruling alliance, particularly in Amritsar, where BJP nominee Arun Jaitley is locked in a keen contest with Congress candidate Capt Amarinder Singh. The Amristar constituency has 64 per cent Sikh votes. The Taksal wields a substantial clout in the Amritsar and Gurdaspur parliamentary constituencies.

Reiterating that the Damdami Taksal was a religious organisation, Sant Harnam Singh, who also heads the Sant Samaj, said he was not in favour of any party raking up the issue of Operation Bluestar and the 1984 Sikh genocide for petty political gains.

Candidates of other parties contesting the elections from Khadoor Sahib and Amritsar had also approached the Damdami Taksal for support, Sant Harnam Singh claimed.

The consequences

* The move will benefit the SAD in rural areas where the Sant Samaj has a considerable clout

* It does not augur well for the ruling alliance, particularly in Amritsar, where BJP nominee Arun Jaitley is locked in a keen contest with Congress candidate Capt Amarinder Singh

* The Amristar constituency has 64 per cent Sikh votes.

* The Taksal wields a substantial clout in the Amritsar & Gurdaspur constituencies

Source: The Tribune

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