Press Trust of india

Congress made Channi Punjab CM for few months to grab Dalit votes: BJP

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

New Delhi: The BJP alleged on Monday that the Congress has made Charanjit Singh Channi Punjab chief minister for a few months merely to grab Dalit votes as part of its conspiracy, and cited previous instances of the party giving the key position to a leader from the community only for a short tenure.

The BJP fronted its Dalit leaders to target the Congress and dared the rival party to make a public promise that Channi will be its chief ministerial face in Punjab, which faces assembly polls early next year, if it was sincere about its move.

The Congress has sought to burnish its pro-Dalit credentials by making Channi the first member of the community to become Punjab chief minister.

Hitting out at the Congress, BJP general secretary Dushyant Kumar Gautam, who is the party’s in-charge for the state, noted the reported statement of Harish Rawat that the Congress will fight the assembly elections under its state chief Navjot Singh Sidhu’s leadership.

Rawat is the Congress’ pointsman for handling its Punjab affairs.

“This is an old habit of the Congress. It believes that it can capture Dalit vote bank by making a Dalit chief minister for a few months. A conspiracy is being hatched in Punjab to grab Dalit vote bank,” Gautam said.

He noted that the Congress had made Dalit leader Sushil Kumar Shinde Maharashtra chief minister in 2003 but replaced him with Vilasrao Deshmukh when it won the 2004 assembly election.

Similarly, he said, the Congress had made Jagannath Pahadia Rajasthan’s chief minister in 1980 but removed him in over a year.

Gautam, also a Dalit leader, alleged that the Congress has resorted to this tactic often and claimed that it often used former deputy prime minister Jagjivan Ram to get the votes of the community but “insulted” him and even removed him from the party when it came to giving him his due.

The Congress also never gave B R Ambedkar Bharat Ratna or made memorial in his name or did anything to preserve his memory, the BJP leader claimed.

“The Congress has humiliated Dalits innumerable times,” he alleged.

Echoing the view, another Dalit leader of the BJP and party secretary Vinod Sonkar, said the Congress has again exhibited its “false love” for Dalits.

When people of Punjab have made up their mind to reject its government in the state, it has tried to show off its false love for Dalits, he alleged.

If the Congress is sincere, then it should assure people that Channi will remain the chief minister if its wins the next assembly polls, he said.

Channi, 58, was on Monday sworn in as chief minister of Punjab, making him the first Dalit to hold the top post in the state.

The state will go to the polls early next year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *