Using SC leaders for votes and then dropping them is old habit of Congress: BJP
By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The BJP on Monday termed the Congress decision to pick Charanjeet Singh Channi as Punjab chief minister as a short-term opportunist plank aimed at grabbing Scheduled caste votes.Accusing the Congress of doing just lip-service to the political aspirations of SCs, BJP leader Vijay Sonkar said, “In 2003, the Congress had chosen Dalit leader Sushil Kumar Shinde as the chief minister of Maharashtra. It fought the elections with Shinde as CM in 2004. But after winning the election, the Congress chose Vilasrao Deshmukh for the post.”
Referring to the appointment of Jagannath Pahadia in 1980 as the chief minister of Rajasthan, Sonkar said, “After one year, the Congress won the elections but the party replaced Pahadia with Shiv Charan Mathur. This is not the first occasion that the Congress is opting for Dalit faces as chief minister ahead of elections. The past instances show that the Congress’s Dalit card is bogus,” he said.
To buttress his point, the BJP leader also quoted Congress’s Harish Rawat’s comments that the party will contest the Punjab elections under the leadership of Navjot Singh Sidhu. Sonkar challenged the Congress leadership to commit that Channi would be allowed to remain in the CM’s chair if the party wins a mandate again.
BJP national general secretary and the Punjab unit in-charge Dushyant Gautam also alleged that the Congress had resorted to the old strategy of making a Dalit as CM for a few months before the elections. Gautam, also from the SC community, claimed the Congress often used Babur Jagjivan Ram to get SC votes but “insulted” him and even removed him from the party when it came to giving him his due.