New Delhi: The Congress party made Charanjit Singh Channi the chief minister of Punjab. Sukhjinder Randhawa and Om Prakash Soni have been made Deputy CMs. Channi is the first Dalit Chief Minister of Punjab. With this move, Congress hopes to benefit in the upcoming assembly elections. However, it might not be a masterstroke and could very well work against the Congress party.
Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary on Monday (September 20) discussed whether Congress’ experiment of anointing a Dalit face as the new Punjab CM would yield results.
Punjab has the largest share of Dalits in the entire country. Dalits constitute about 32 percent of the total population of the state. But despite this, never before a Dalit had become the Chief Minister in Punjab. Channi is the first one. Therefore, Congress hopes to get the maximum benefit in those 34 seats (out of the total 117 seats) in the state, which are reserved for Dalits.
Congress is also eyeing Uttar Pradesh where elections will be held simultaneously. Here also, all parties would be looking to woo Dalit voters.
The fight for Dalit votes in Punjab is triangular. Apart from Congress, BJP and Aam Aadmi Party are also in this race. Shiromani Akali Dal has also tied up with BSP in Punjab in hopes of garnering Dalit votes.
However, in a bid to copy Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP, the Congress may have scored a self-goal by removing Captain Amarinder Singh.
Recently, BJP had taken similar decisions in Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Gujarat by replacing the chief ministers. It seems that Congress tried to follow the same pattern in Punjab. But there is a huge difference between the BJP and the Congress.
BJP has PM Modi as the biggest leader who can draw votes in favour of his party in his name to win elections. Due to this, Modi has complete control over the BJP and can easily take decisions like replacing the Chief Minister or reshuffling the entire Cabinet.
However, the Gandhi family does not have this power. The Gandhi family can neither get votes for the Congress party in their name nor can they win elections.
The second difference is that the BJP is a disciplined and cadre-based party, whereas, in Congress, it is not the case. That is why it is not so easy for the Congress party to make such big decisions as the BJP can.
Even after Charanjit Singh Channi became the Chief Minister in Punjab, differences remain in the Congress. Today, there was a lot of uproar in Punjab over the statement of Congress’ Harish Rawat, who said that the next Legislative Assembly election of Punjab would be fought under the leadership of Navjot Singh Sidhu. Congress leader Sunil Jakhar spoke against this and the tussle in Punjab continued.
In the present Congress, the Gandhi family seems to be engaged in undermining every leader who earns their support base. This can certainly harm them.
The big question is what Amarinder Singh will do now. After being insulted by the Congress leadership, he might prove to be a big help to the BJP. Even if Singh does not join BJP and helps the party from outside, his role in the upcoming elections would be crucial.
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