With Dalit CM in Punjab, Congress aims at UP and Uttarakhand

New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS): After the surprise announcement of the name of Charanjit Singh Channi, a Dalit leader, for the Chief Minister's post in Punjab, the Congress looks at the larger aim of Uttrakhand and Uttar Pradesh which are also going to polls early next year.

Rahul Gandhi, after the announcement of the new Chief Minister's name, congratulated Channi, saying: "Congratulations to Shri Charanjit Singh Channi Ji for the new responsibility. We must continue to fulfill the promises made to the people of Punjab. Their trust is of paramount importance."

Channi, who was also a bitter critic of outgoing Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, has been appointed to tap not only around 32 per cent Dalit votes in the state but also in neighbouring Uttarakhand and UP which go to polls early next year along with Punjab.

After a Dalit CM in Punjab, the Congress is eyeing gains in Uttarakhand but it is unlikely that the party will get much traction in UP as Mayawati is a formidable force in the state and non-Jatav Dalits have mostly aligned with the BJP.

Sources say that Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa's name was proposed by majority of MLAs but Rahul Gandhi decided in favour of Channi who was the leader of opposition for a brief period during the previous Akali government.

Apart from other names, Congress wanted even former Union Minister Ambika Soni to become the Chief Minister but she refused. However, she emerged as the main trouble shooter in the Punjab episode in the aftermath of the resignation of Amarinder Singh. Soni held late night meetings with party chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at least twice and has some role in the appointment of the new Chief Minister. It was her statement in favour of a Sikh Chief Minister that went against the top choice, Sunil Jakhar.

Sensing Soni could be the Chief Minister, the state leaders made a consensus that the Chief Minister should be among the MLAs, and hence Randhawa's and Channi's names emerged but Rahul Gandhi who has special focus on Dalit leadership decided in favour of Channi.



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Comment on this article

  • Valerian DSouza, Udupi/ Mumbai

    Mon, Sep 20 2021

    School, College, jobs and now Government also on the basis of caste system

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • j.anata, Mangaluru / Bengaluru

    Mon, Sep 20 2021

    Its very sad that a national party that claims to be over 100 years still has to cling to caste and creed instead of providing good governance and policy, decision making. By the way, CONgress is only party to have absolutely no control in UP, even a newbie like AAP could win some seats, but not CONgress.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • El En Tea, Mangalore

    Mon, Sep 20 2021

    Navjoth Sidhu will jump back now.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Hussein, Moodbidri

    Sun, Sep 19 2021

    May be main reason is, popularity of The All India Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation", abbreviated as BAMCEF and other similar organizations. BAMCEF founded by Kanshi Ram and present president is Waman Meshram. They are uniting all backward communities under one umbrella. They can give strong competition in coming elections.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

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