Congress Appoints Dalit CM in Punjab; When Will BJP Do?


As soon as the Congress announced that Charanjit Singh Channi will be new Chief Minister of Punjab, Dalit activists across the country started demanding more Dalit representation at the state level.

By Kaleem Ullah Fasihi/The Newster

Charanjit Singh Channi posing with Dalit Icon BR Ambedkar

As soon as the Congress announced that the Dalit leader Charanjit Singh Channi will be the new Chief Minister of Punjab after Captain Amarinder Singh’s forced resignation ahead of assembly election in the state, Dalit activists across the country started demanding more Dalit representation at the state level.

Netizens are targeting the Bhartiya Janta Party for not appointing a single Dalit CM in all 17 states it is ruling. Many of them have alleged the BJP of casteism and of it being anti-Dalit community.

A twitter user shared a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi washing feet of Dalits as a gesture of respect and equality and satirically wrote targeting PM, “Make me wash your feet. Get a Dalit placed on some decorative post like President or Governor. I will also say Jai Bhim. But don’t ask me to make a Dalit CM in a BJP ruled state. We have not done this till today. Mohan Bhagwat will thrash me.”  

Punjab consists over 31% of Dalit population and it is only the first time since independence that a Dalit has been appointed as Chief Minister of Punjab. This move by the Congress is seen as political trick to attract Dalit voters in the state. Sources also say that party wanted a Sikh and a Dalit at the forefront in the upcoming state assembly election next year.

Read More: Charanjit Singh Channi, First Dalit CM of Punjab Since Independence: All You Need To Know

Other party have also started playing Dalit cards in the state. Earlier, The Shiromani Akali Dal had also tied up with the Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP). The party has extended two seats to BSP in the upcoming state assembly election.

Political analysts are calling the appointment a ‘bold move’ by the congress ahead of assembly election. India Today’s news presenter Rajdeep Sardesai said, “New CM Charanjit Singh Channi becomes first Dalit Sikh CM of Punjab, first non Jat Sikh since Zail Singh; Bold move at a time when AAP growing in Punjab, Akalis tie up with BSP and BJP eyeing Dalit vote. Caste calculation: Sidhu as Jat Sikh Cong Prez, Channi as CM! #PunjabCM”, in his tweet.

While addressing the media, the newly appointed Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi gets emotional and said, “we once didn’t have roof in our house, my mother & I used to get mud to plaster our walls, it’s Congress & RahulGandhi’s policies that I have become Chief Minister today.”

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