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Playing Dalit Card with Expectations

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on October 01, 2021 with No Comments

Congress in Punjab was simmering for long and was expected to reach a flash point and it did.  The simmering didn’t end with the resignation of the Chief Minister of Punjab, but it still continues to. Ex Chief Minister of Punjab Capt Amarinder went on an interview sphere after his resignation and vowed that he would not allow the Chief of Punjab Congress Navjot Sidhu to win the elections at any cost. Amarinder Singh nostalgically remembered his connections with Gandhi-Nehru family for the last 67 years (since 1954). He expressed sadness over the manner in which this relationship was snapped off this month by Gandhi family. The former CM described both Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi as “not politically mature” and that they were being misled by their advisers.   He created further turbulence when he met Home Minister Amit Shah at Delhi. The meeting raised speculation that Amarinder Singh could be moving to BJP. However, he forgot that what was his “connection” with the masses, his elected party members, party workers  and his zeal to fulfill promises on which he came back to power in 2017. Capt Amarinder Singh remained in an ivory tower, not accessible to his own ministers and former chief of Punjab Congress Sunil Jakhar.  His connect with party cadre was minimal and had failed miserably on fulfilling promises made to the people of Punjab, specially those that have an emotional connect with the Punjabis.  Action against land, sand, bus mafia didn’t take place, and no arrest so far has been made for the desecretion carried of the Shri Guru Granth Sahib.

Moments  after his resignation Capt. Amarinder Singh expressed his anger and sadness over the manner in which the Congress leadership practically forced him to resign,  as a seasoned politician, Capt. Amarinder Singh did not disclose his future plan in the interviewThe ground reality is that both Rahul and Priyanka have backed Sidhu as their best bet, with Channi being seen as a leader who can get them Dalit votes.  However,  Capt. called Navjot Sidhu anti national and commented on his links with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Kahn.  Perhaps the biggest gaffe by Capt. Amarinder Singh. Navjot Sidhu due to his cricketing ties with Imran Khan was successful in get Sikhs worldwide access to Gurudwara Karatpur Sahib and won hearts of millions of Sikhs. The comment by Capt. Amarinder Singh not only hurt the Sikhs but also affected his vote bank. Moreover,  what did Capt Amarinder Singh to do arrest Sidhu if he was anti national !Congress in Punjab now is at a revival  mode and Rahul Gandhi has consciously empowered Channi with a long-term plan of creating a Dalit leader. Channi needs to be given the freedom and support to prove himself and if Congress comes back to power in 2022 he should not be dumped.  While Capt Amarinder Singh now doesn’t have any major role to play in Congress and may consider  various options that he may come across. Navjot Sidhu has his place in the Congress and the party high command must have realized by now how uncompromising Sidhu can be, specially after he tendered his resignation on not been consulted in cabinet formation. Sidhu will have to cool his heels in Punjab Congress and the chair of Chief Minister of Punjab may not come easy, because of the importance of the Dalit card that is expected to help the Congress narrative of social justice in other states as well. Dalit groups have welcomed the appointment as Channi is the only chief minister of Punjab from the scheduled castesThe Congress leader also reiterated his commitment to empower the oppressed. Channi himself is a veteran politician with degrees in law and business management. Nobody should be surprised if he remains the Dalit face of the party for a long time to come.


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