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EXCLUSIVE: Will Dalit Identity Of Punjab CM Channi Be A Masterstroke For The Congress?

People’s Editor decodes the Dalit vote bank politics in the state of Punjab. Will the Dalit identity of Chief Minister Charanjit Channi be a masterstroke for Congress? What do the youth of Punjab want?

AS PUNJAB gears up for the state assembly polls, India Ahead’s Smita Sharma on Thursday spoke to some of the protesting farmers at the Ladowal Toll Plaza. The farmers mentioned that the Center’s decision of repealing the three farm laws was fine but, there is a big question mark on the other laws which haven’t been repealed, they want the government to step in and, take a call on that. 

The farmers also commented on Chief Minister Charanjit Channi’s governance. They said, “The Dalit CM is not doing much, he should atleast do some work for the state.” 

Channi was preceded by fifteen chief ministers, all of them happened to be Jatt Sikhs. CM Channi is the first Dalit leader of the state since independence. 

India Ahead also spoke to the local residents of Punjab and critics so as to get a sense of the ground situation ahead of crucial polls in the state. How is the Dalit vote bank politics going to play out in Punjab?

Author and Professor Parminder Singh explained the Dalit factor in the upcoming Punjab Elections 2022. “One thing is there, you might have Dalit leaders or groups but, they don’t address the issues related to the community. For instance, the current CM of Punjab is a Dalit, he might have an appeal among Dalit voters. There is one basic question that concerns Dalits who are landless, they need land. Now, the land is available but it is not reconsolidated and redistributed. There are a lot of government lands but, they are not given to the needy,” he said. 

“All parties have Dalit faces but, they don’t address their issues.”Author & Professor Parminder Singh

Finance Secretary, Punjab Khet Mazdoor Sangh, Harmesh Malri said that CM Channi and the government is ignoring the issues of the Dalit community. He further mentioned that money, hooliganism, and drugs are practiced to collect votes before elections in the state. 

“Dalit’s key issue is unemployment and even after Channi’s rule this issue is unresolved”– Finance Secretary, Punjab Khet Mazdoor Sangh, Harmesh Malri

India Ahead further spoke to the youth of Punjab and brought in a sense of what the youth wants, some of them believe that it is going to be a hung assembly for the state this time as none of the leaders are working towards development. Pollution, unemployment, and education remain a challenge in the state. Some students mentioned that whatever development is being announced by CM Channi is just a political stunt.

The new anouncements made by CM Channi, like free electricity and all of that is just a political stunt to collect the votes. – Student , Punjab

“Aam Adami Party has more chances of taking the lead in the elections. Punjab needs a new political face, it should either be an independent candidate or a new political party that takes better stands than the previous parties,” Students said.

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