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United Punjab Party is a new, Christian political organisation in Punjab; Amid the turmoil in Amritpal

With Punjab politics already in a state of flux, a new party is expected to stir things up even more. A number of churches have joined forces to declare a “United Punjab Party” in front of the byelection for the Lok Sabha seat in Jalandhar, which has one of the greatest concentrations of Dalits in the state.

Under the auspices of the Pentecostal Christian Community Parbandhak Committee, the first political party in the state solely oriented at the Christian community was launched on Monday, with backing from various church denominations.

The emergence of the United Punjab Party is noteworthy not only because of the sizeable Dalit Christian support that could switch parties, but also because it coincides with worries about religious polarisation being fuelled in the wake of the Amritpal Singh incident.

The Pentecostal Parbandhak Committee, which had been in the works since 2019, officially launched in November 2021 with the stated objectives of enforcing “discipline” among churches, addressing difficulties facing the Christian community, and promoting the religion. Despite having a large number of church officials attend its meetings, it only has about 1,550 priests or pastors on its membership registers.

The chairman of the committee is Harpreet Singh Deol, the pastor of the Pentecostal Open Door Church in the Kapurthala locality of Khojewala. The president of the United Punjab Party has been nominated as Albert Dua, a member of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar and a former two-time pastor of the Catholic Church in Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana.

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