The BJP believes that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interaction with prominent Sikhs from across the country might help the party in the Punjab assembly polls. Two days before the polling for the Punjab Assembly, Modi on Friday hosted them at his official residence here.
The BJP claimed the Prime Minister hosting the prominent Sikhs will help the party by sending a message to the people of Punjab that he is deeply connected with the community and understands their concerns and issues.
“First of all let me make it clear that it was an ‘apolitical’ meeting and it has nothing to do with the Punjab assembly polls. But meeting prominent citizens of any community helps the government and the party to reach out to them. A Prime Minister hosting prominent Sikhs from across the country would most probably help the BJP to win the support of the community and might help in the assembly polls. But the political benefit of the interaction will only be known after the declaration of results,” a BJP leader said.
Another party leader aware of Punjab politics said that the interaction will help the BJP to dispel the anti-Sikh misconception built around it.
“Some people with vested political interests created a perception that the BJP is anti-Sikh. We hope that meetings of prominent Sikhs from across the country will help in clearing the misconception. It might also help the party in the Punjab assembly polls,” he said.
Some in the BJP, however, doubt any major political benefits from the meeting. “We don’t really know what will be the political benefits of meeting prominent Sikh citizens just two days before the polling,” another BJP leader said.
In a series of tweets after the interaction, Prime Minister Modi said, “This morning, I met a wide range of people from the Sant Samaj and Sikh community. These are distinguished individuals who are at the forefront of popularising Sikh culture and serving society. I was humbled by the kind words from the distinguished members of the Sikh community on various efforts of the Central Government. I consider it my honour that the respected Sikh Gurus have taken Seva from me and their blessings have enabled me to work for society,” the Prime Minister said.
In the morning the Prime Minister hosted the president of the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee Harmeet Singh Kalka, Padma Shri Baba Balbir Singh ji Sichewal, Mahant Karamjit Singh, President Sewapanthi from Yamuna Nagar, Baba Joga Singh from Dera Baba Jang Singh (Nanaksar) Karnal, Sant Baba Major Singh Waa from Mukhi Dera Baba Tara Singh Waa, Amritsar.
The other prominent Sikhs were Jathedar Baba Sahib Singh (Kar Sewa Anandpur Sahib), Surinder Singh Namdhari Darbar (Bheni Sahib), Baba Jassa Singh Shiromani Akali Budha Dal, Panjwa Takht, Dr Harbhajan Singh, Damdami Taksal, Chowk Mehta and Singh Sahib Giani Ranjit Singh, Jathedar Takht Sri Patna Sahib.