By making Charanjit Singh Channi the CM of Punjab, Congress has killed two victims with one arrow. In fact, there are 32 per cent Dalit votes in Punjab. At the same time, 21 percent Dalit votes in UP are very important in changing one’s fortunes in the elections. The special thing is that assembly elections are to be held simultaneously in both the states. In such a situation, does the Congress plan to win the hearts of Dalits in UP with the help of Punjab?
nbt online senior journalist
siddharth geese Discussed political possibilities with Let us understand the meaning of the game plan of Congress.
1- Message for three states by making Dalit Channi CM
This was necessary for the Congress according to the politics of Punjab, which has a large Dalit population. Awareness is growing very fast in the Dalit community. In Punjab, folk songs are being written about the honor and respect of Dalits. Various events are being organized for Dalit consciousness. Dalit awareness campaign is going on in Punjab. Apart from the Jat Sikh farmers of large holdings, politics is visible towards the Dalit Sikhs of Punjab. The importance of deras has been immense in Punjab. The population associated with the dera has been of Dalit Sikhs. There are cults like Ravidasi, Ramdasi, Ramgarhia. Congress has targeted Punjab keeping in mind the 32 per cent Dalit population. Along with this, it also affects Haryana. There is a large population of Dalits, who are not Jotdars i.e. those who do not have land. But they have found a means of livelihood through jobs and other professions. There is a Jatav community in western Uttar Pradesh and there you will find a large number of camps. Ramgarhia and Ravidasi sects are spreading here too. The huge crowd that gathers at the Ravidas Ashram in Varanasi consists of Dalits from the West, Haryana and Punjab in large numbers. This is a kind of message for all the three states. Congress has tried to take lead in many states simultaneously by making Charanjit Singh Channi as CM.
2- Jatav fraternity of western UP may be affected
In Western UP, there are Dalits who follow the Panth of Punjab. He is basically a Jatav i.e. Chamar. The Dalits in the central and eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh are Dalits who follow other sects. In Central and East UP, it may not have the same effect, but it will have an effect in the Jatav community. A positive attitude towards the Congress is definitely expected. Where you vote will depend on the strength of the Congress and the candidates. How fast is the Congress able to disseminate this Dalit card to the community. How many of her Dalit leaders can she put on the front? This is very important. However, in Uttar Pradesh, Congress was doing this kind of work for some time. For example, Haryana’s young Dalit leader Pradeep Narwal was made co-in-charge of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections to help Priyanka Gandhi. You will get benefit in elections when you are able to convey this step and message among the community.
3- Election alliance of BSP-Akali Dal in Punjab, its cut
In 1996, the Akali Dal and the BSP entered into an agreement and won 90 per cent of the Lok Sabha seats in Punjab. At that time a combination was made that the Jat Sikhs were with the Akalis and the Dalits had also come together because of the BSP. In the subsequent elections, the Congress made a dent in the Dalit vote. The Aam Aadmi Party secured some share of Dalit votes in the 2017 assembly elections. Akali Dal was originally a party of Jat Sikhs. Even among the Jat Sikhs, since there are farmers and there is resentment among them about the role of the Akalis during the peasant movement. In such a situation, due to the alliance of BSP and Akali Dal, it is a big blow to the political life that was being received.
4- The math of Dalit votes is not that straight in Punjab
Malwa region in Punjab has 69 seats. This area is dominated by Dalits. However, the arithmetic of Dalit votes in the population of Punjab is not that straightforward either. According to the 2011 census, out of the 2.77 crore population of the state, 88.60 lakh or 31.9 percent are Dalit population. Of these, 53.9 lakh (19.4%) are Dalit Sikhs. At the same time, the population of Hindu Dalit community is 34.42 lakh or 12.4 percent. At the same time, the number of Buddhist Dalits is 27 thousand 390. The total Sikh population in Punjab is 1.60 crore (57.69%). At the same time, the total Hindu population is 1.06 crores i.e. 38.49%. The Dalit society of Punjab is divided into different sects. Of this, 26.33 percent are religious Sikhs, 8.66 percent Balmiki/Bhangi, 10.17 percent non-religious Sikhs and 20.78 percent Ramdasiya/Ravidasi Sikhs. The Dalit society, which is divided into several sects, does not have a pattern of voting outright in elections. But the Congress has tried to change the equation through the Dalit card somewhere.
Attempts to redeem Dalit cards on reserved seats in UP
Talking about UP, there are about 21 percent Dalit voters here. In the 2007 assembly elections, the BSP formed the government, winning 62 of the 89 reserved seats in the state. In the 2017 UP assembly elections, there were a total of 87 reserved seats. Of these, 85 were reserved for SC (Scheduled Castes) and 2 for ST (Scheduled Tribes). Congress will definitely try to cash in on the Dalit CM card in the election rallies of UP.
Mayawati told the election tactic of Congress
Clearly, a new challenge has arisen for Mayawati. While holding a press conference after Channi’s swearing-in, the BSP supremo did not take long to call it an election ploy of the Congress. Maya said, ‘It seems that this is only their election gimmick, but nothing else. I have come to know from media reports that the upcoming assembly elections in Punjab will not be fought under his leadership but under the leadership of non-Dalits. The Congress party is yet to have full faith in Dalits. Congress has made Channi the CM for a short time. The Dalit community will not fall under the guise of Congress and BJP. Instead of making the people of the society stand on their feet, the Congress has taken this step for the sake of its selfishness.