Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal said on Saturday that his party would abide by the diktat of Akal Takht on seeking support from Dera Sacha Sauda.followers in the Lok Sabha election. Akal Takht, the primary seat of Sikh religious authority, had ex-communicated the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda in an alleged blasphemy case of 2007.
Talking to reporters here, Badal said, "We will follow in letter and spirit the edict of Sri Akal Takht Sahib regarding the Dera Sacha Sauda on this matter." He was answering queries about Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar's challenge to him to clarify his stand on the matter. Jakhar had declared that the Congress would not seek support from the Dera Sacha Sauda.followers.
Punjab has 13 parliamentary seats and it will go to polls in a single phase on May 19. On Thursday's Indo-Pak meeting on Katrapur Sahib corridor, Badal accused Pakistan of creating "hurdles intentionally".
Asking Pakistan not to put restrictions and conditions on the entry of pilgrims, the former Punjab deputy chief minister said Pakistan should follow liberal attitude shown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in respecting the Sikh sentiments. "The demand of the government of India for allowing 5,000 pilgrims daily and without any permit or other restrictions should be accepted by Pakistan," he said, adding "let it be a visa-free entry". On completion of two years of the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in the state, Badal said the country has not seen "such a useless and good-for-nothing" chief minister.
(With inputs from agencies.)