Punjab: Inside Story of why Arvind Kejriwal and CM Mann are visiting Dera Sachkhand Ballan

This is for the very first time that Arvind Kejriwal and CM Bhagwant Mann will visit Dera Sachkhand Ballan.

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will be visiting Punjab on 25th March 2023. During his visit, AAP convener Kejriwal will be meeting Sant Niranjan Dass of Dera Sachkhand Ballan along with Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann. This is for the very first time that Arvind Kejriwal and CM Bhagwant Mann will visit Dera Sachkhand Ballan. Adding to this, CM Mann also announced that a grant of Rs. 25 crores will be given to Dera Sachkhand Ballan for setting up Guru Ravidas Bani Adhyayan Centre. The visit of Arvind Kejriwal and CM Mann to Dera Sachkhand Ballan is not a regular one. The visit to dera is planned keeping in mind the Jalandhar Lok Sabha by-elections that are going to be held anytime soon. Dera Sachkhand Ballan is one the largest and greatest religious places of Ravidas Community in Punjab. In Punjab, around 33% of voters belong to Ravidas Community and it is likable that Arvind Kejriwal and CM Mann might be visiting this dera to gather some votes from the Ravidas Community. The Jalandhar Lok Sabha by-election can be announced anytime soon, especially before 6 months completion of Jalandhar MP Santokh Singh Choudhary’s demand.

About Dera Sachkhand Ballan

Dera Sachkhand Ballan is one of the most significant deras for Ravidas community and play a major role in state as well as national politics. Based on the teachings of Ravidass, Dera Sachkhand Ballan is a powerful Ravidassias religious temple that has been prospering since the 1980s. The Dera was established in the 21st century and it is considered holy for the Ravidassia Dalits, who are predominant in the Doaba region.

Importance of Dera Sachkhand Ballan in politics

The Dera’s followers make a huge percentage of Punjab voters. Dalits make up 32% of Punjab's population- the largest percentage in any state, practically all political parties make it a point to meet with dera heads before the elections to secure their support. The majority of Dalit or SC people live in the Doaba region, which has an SC population of roughly 45 percent. The region sends 23 legislators to the 117-member state assembly. Dera has direct influence over at least 19 seats and the Ravidassia community's vote share ranges from 20% to 50%. According to a few academicians deras can’t be ignored and politics as majority of followers vote for same to whom their head is inclined towards.

It is being speculated that Arvind Kejriwal and CM Mann will be visiting so that they somehow have a strong hold on majority of Punjab’s voters and the Jalandhar Lok Sabha by-election can be announced anytime soon.

Jalandhar Lok Sabha Election is the biggest challenge and ultimate test for Aam Aadmi Party. There are many issues that can be obstacles for the party in winning elections. Also, it is a big challenge for AAP to win this election because after coming to power lost the byelection in Sangrur from Shiromani Akali Dal’s Simranjit Singh Mann. If somehow AAP loses Jalandhar Lok Sabha Elections then if can have a serious impact on Arvind Kejriwal in upcoming PM elections.


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