Chandigarh Political parties have started formulating their strategies for the Punjab Assembly elections to be held in 2022. Even though political rallies have been banned, politics has been hot about Dalits. The Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP have started playing the ‘Dalit card’, so Congress has also become cautious. SAD President Sukhbir Badal has announced that if the Akali Dal government is formed then the Deputy Chief Minister will be a Dalit leader. On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party has gone one step ahead. BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh announced that the Dalit leader will be made the chief minister if the BJP government is formed. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has termed the claims and promises of these two parties as an absurd electoral stunt.
The alliance between the SAD and the BJP may have broken, but both parties have played their cards about the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh says that the SAD and the BJP did nothing for the SC brotherhood during their rule. The record of both these parties regarding Dalit brotherhood has been bad. In view of this, it is clear that the Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP have failed to ensure the welfare of Dalits in the state during 10 years and now, keeping an eye on the 2022 elections, have come down to political drama to attract the Dalit brotherhood.
On the announcement of Sukhbir, the Captain said that this promise is nothing but a political ploy to mislead people for votes. Taking a dig at the BJP, the Captain said that it would be a challenge to find a winning candidate for the party given the anger among the people of the state on the issue of farmers.
Let us know that 34 out of 117 reserved seats of Punjab Assembly play an important role in forming a government in the state. Out of the total population of the state, 34 per cent are Dalit votes and all the political parties have been playing different bets before for the Dalit vote bank.
Captain Amarinder counted the achievements of Congress on Dalits
Capt Amarinder said that his government in its first term in 2002 raised the amount of the Shagun scheme from Rs 5100 in 2006 to Rs 15000 from Rs 5100 in 2006. After this, there was no increase in the Akali-BJP coalition government from 2007 to 2017. When the Congress government came to power again in 2017, this amount was raised to Rs 51,000 ( 1 July 2021).
The social security pension was increased by the Congress government from Rs 100 to Rs 200 in the 1992–97 office. Then in 2006, his government raised it to 250 rupees. During 2016-17, the Akali-BJP government raised it to Rs 500, but the present government first raised it to Rs 750 and this amount has been increased to Rs 1500. Similarly, schemes like pre-matric SC scholarship and 200 units of free electricity to SC families are also implemented by the Punjab government.