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Dalits are mere political pawns in Congress’ devious politics, says BJP on Channi’s appointment as Punjab CM

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Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 20

The BJP on Monday accused the Congress of using “Dalits like pawns” and indulging in “dikhawe ka Dalit prem”, challenging it to “guarantee” that the chief minister of “six months” Charanjit Singh Channi will “not be dropped” in favour of someone else after elections.

With the Dalit politics gaining steam ahead of crucial elections next year, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is facing a tough challenge in his state that polls along with Punjab, also tweeted a series of messages, highlighting the importance the community has in the BJP and their contribution towards nation building.

Meanwhile, BJP IT cell in charge Amit Malviya called Dalits “mere political pawns in Congress’ devious politics. In Punjab, they claim to have made a Dalit CM, only to be posted as a night watchman, till Gandhi family loyalist (Navjot Singh) Sidhu takes over, but maintains deafening silence over lynching of a Dalit youth in Rajasthan”.

“This completely undermines the Dalit empowerment narrative being peddled by the Congress. Shame,” said Malviya, while Kaushambhi MP Vinod Sonkar accused the ruling party in Punjab of indulging in “dikhawa ka Dalit-prem”.

Listing leaders from the Dalit community it “ditched” and “ill-treated” in the past, Sonkar said: “The Congress may have forgotten how it treated Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar or stopped Babu Jagjivan Ram from becoming the Prime Minister, people have not.

“This is not the first time they have shown false Dalit-prem for the sake of political gains. In Maharashtra (2003-04) they appointed Sushil Kumar Shinde the CM before the elections and dropped him in favour of Vilasrao Deshmukh after winning. The party gave a similar treatment to Jagannath Pahadia in Rajasthan in 1980. They contested under him but appointed Shivcharan Mathur after elections. If their intentions are clean, they should guarantee that they will not drop Channi after elections,” said Sonkar.

As the BJP also raked up “Me Too” allegations against the new CM while National Commission for Women chairperson Rekha Sharma termed him “threat to women”, observers said Channi is “way too close to Navjot Singh Sidhu” and the elections “far too near” for him to be “ignored” by any party.

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