When the assembly elections in Punjab are approaching, the Punjab Congress suddenly realised the Dalit leaders of the party and to woo the workers along with their supporters; the party has decided to give key posts to Dalit leaders.
The Punjab Congress has decided to assign important roles to its Dalit leaders.
The AICC after formally deciding upon the names would assign them important roles in the organisation set-up and the election campaign so that the party could weave in the Dalit vote bank.
Besides, the issue of equal ticket sharing among the Dalits – comprising both Ravidassia and Valmiki communities – has divided the community leaders. Dalits, who make up almost one-third of the Punjab’s population, have not been able to emerge as a political force in the party as they are politically divided.
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee head, Amarinder Singh had come out with a stunt to woo the Dalit voters. He had convinced the party high command for the elevation of Dalit legislator Charanjit Singh Channi as Leader of Opposition despite ignoring the fact that Channel is a political greenhorn.
Then the former Chief Minister of Punjab, Amarinder Singh brought the singer turned a politician, Hans Raj Hans into the party fold by offering him the post of Rajya Sabha MP. However, the AICC dropped the name of Hans at the eleventh hour.
It is evident that the Punjab state has maximum populations of Dalits so the party has been working hard to leave no stone unturned to please the Dalit leaders in the party.
Punjab Congress has always given priority to Jat Sikh leaders but now the party has suddenly realised the importance of Dalit voters and played cheap stunt to offer the key posts to Dalit leaders.
In the past, the party never gave priority to Dalit leaders since the 2007 assembly polls. The last Dalit president of PPCC was the incumbent Rajya Sabha MP Shamsher Singh Dullo.
“There is no end to trouble & embarrassment to Congress party caused by newly appointed leaders of Opposition, Chanarjit Singh Channi. Struggling to make an impression in the assembly, he made a sorry figure recently by stating Bhakra Dam as the major achievement of former Congress CM, Captain Amarinder Singh.”
Second time legislature Charanjit Singh Channi was inducted to Congress party in the year 2012 ahead of last assembly polls in Punjab. Prior to that he was elected to Vidhan Sabha from Chamkaur Sahib as an independent leader. It must be noted, he is yet to complete his first term as Congress MLA and still was entrusted with important position of leader of opposition. The result is quite evident from his fumbled approach to assembly proceeding.
Dumbstruck in assembly
Congress Vice President has always professed about entrusting youth leaders with prominent position. But for someone, who himself has become the mockery of parliament; it comes natural to find someone as close to him as possible. Channi’s appointment in this context comes naturally and Rahul paved the way for his appointment against fierce opposition from senior leaders of the party.
Rahul’s move proved a blunder as Channi is getting dumbstruck in assembly and he is causing embarrassment to the congress party due to his inexperience and lack of knowledge of state political affairs. No wonders he cited Bhkara Dam as Captian’s biggest achievement. Someone needs to tell him that Bhakra dam was built in the year 1963 when Pratap Singh Kairon was Chief Minister of state.
Congress paying the price of Rahul’s blunder
It must be noted here that several leaders have gone on record to condemn Channi’s appointment. Channi is learning the ropes of assembly proceedings the hard way and he is not able to garner the support of senior leaders. At any given time not more than 10 legislatures out of 42 are present in the assembly with absenteeism becoming a norm.
Congress scolded the MLAs for the thin strength during budget session
The seriousness of the Congress legislators in Punjab assembly during budget session shown by their thin strength as majority of the legislators were not present during the budget session in assembly.
As per the information, the Congress legislators afforded to miss the session and absenteeism was visible especially during the budget session when the issue of SYL took the centre stage.
Party leadership scolded legislators
Taking a serious note of the thin strength of Congress legislators during the budget session in the Assembly, the party leadership had issued a whip to all party MLAs to be present in the House on March 21 and 22.
Ever since the Assembly session began, few Congress MLAs have been present, especially during Channi’s speech on the SYL issue and during the Budget discussion. Interestingly, Channi was targeted by the treasury benches after his speech on the Budget discussion; just four Congress MLAs were present.
Only four Congress legislators when bills were cleared by Vidhan Sabha
As per the information, the legislators had started leaving the house especially in zero hour. When the cleared bills came up for discussion, there were only two legislators; Tarlochan Singh Soond and Ashwani Sekhri were present. After few minutes leader of opposition Charanjit Singh Channi and Bharat Bhushan Ashu joined them.
PPCC Chief had to intervene for ensuring the strength of MLAs in assembly
The matter was highlighted to the party chief and the incumbent PPCC Chief Amarinder Singh had took the serious note on the thin strength of the legislators. He issued the whip to the legislators and himself visited the assembly on March 21 where he taught the legislators to maintain the decorum in the session by proper strength especially during the important sessions.