What was long awaited will soon come to its conclusion. If exit polls are to be believed, the incumbent CM of Uttar Pradesh, i.e., Yogi Adityanath will storm back to power for the second historic term and AAP is all set to replace Congress as the ruling power in state.
However, do you know what it means for the Congress party in Punjab? Well, the party has failed brutally in the state despite playing the elusive ‘Dalit card’. Notably, the party had gone around the clock to appease Dalit community in the state. They had left no stone unturned to appease the rather oppressed and ignored community of the Punjabi electorate.
Congress and Dalits Sikhs
Officially, Dalit Sikhs constitute 31 per cent of Punjab’s electorate. The Dalit Sikhs, who constitute a large percentage of the population (31 per cent), have traditionally voted for the Congress party, and this is the reason that the grand old party repeatedly comes to power in the state despite the stain of its involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Congress, however, has not brought any development to the Dalit Sikh community. Moreover, the ‘Grand Old Party’ has had a history of making the Dalit community, suffer throughout the country.
Channi for inducted as CM for being Dalit
However, Congress played a unique card, when Charanjit Singh Channi replaced Amarinder Singh as the CM of Punjab. Notably, Channi was the first ever CM of the state, who hailed from a backward caste. With his induction as Chief Minister of the state, the Congress party was aiming at grabbing 32 per cent of Punjab’s electorate which is held by the Dalit Community in the state.
Moreover, Congress made a failed attempt to undo the damage which the party itself had done in the state to create a rift between Jatt Sikhs and Dalits by fueling the fake farmers’ protest. While the high brass was buoyed to play the card, others were accusing it of cheating and insulting the Dalit community and for using Charanjit Singh Channi to grab the Dalit vote share in Punjab Assembly elections.
BSP president Mayawati had called Channi’s elevation as an election stunt. Reportedly, she had claimed that the Congress was keen on a non-Dalit as the future CM.
But, why did the party induct a Dalit CM? Despite its anti-Dalit history, the aged-old party chose Channi, who is a Dalit Sikh as it had become an electoral compulsion for the party. That is because Shiromani Akali Dal, which had decided to contest the 2022 polls together with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), promised that the alliance’s deputy CM would be from the SC community, while the BJP had announced to make a Dalit the CM, if voted to power in Punjab.
Fearing that it could cost the party the crucial Dalit votes, Congress made Channi the incumbent Chief Minister of Punjab. However, the strategy did not work and the exit polls have proven why Congress has been thrown out of power in Punjab by Aam Aadmi Party.