Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Charanjit Channi on Sunday said if they form an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for the upcoming Punjab assembly polls, it will not be at the cost of their own Dalit leaders.
“First of all, it is too immature to say at this stage that we would be joining hands with the BSP. The decision has to be taken by the party high command for Uttar Pradesh and Punjab as both states would go to the polls together. And if this happens, interests of the Dalit workers and leaders of the Congress at the grassroots level would not be compromised,” said Channi, while addressing mediapersons at the residence of Congress leader late Chaudhary Jagjit Singh.
He said this while replying to a question over fear among the Congress rank and file in Doaba that if their party joins hands with the BSP, their leaders from the region would be neglected during ticket allocation as the latter also has stronghold in the same area and it may eat a lion’s share of reserved seats.
“When an alliance happens a formula comes in place. It does not mean that all reserved seats would go to the BSP. The alliance partner would also be given the share of non-reserved seats in the same proportion as well,” said the leader of opposition in the Vidhan Sabha.
Taking a dig at the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre for failing to protect the rights of Dalits, Channi said it was the anti-Dalit and anti-minority mindset of the Narendra Modi government that had forced a brilliant scholar like Rohith Vemula to take to extreme step of ending his own life.
“This attitude was repeatedly reflected in the absurd reactions by Union ministers like Sushma Swaraj and Venkahia Naidu. Congrss vice-president Rahul Gandhi went to Hyderabad to oppose this politics of hatred,” he said, while asserting that it was the Congress that has been fighting the politics of discrimination at the ideological level and would not allow such tendencies to proliferate.
Channi pointed out that in Punjab, the state with the highest percentage of Dalit population, the policies of the government should be finetuned so that the deprived sections of the society get all the opportunities for upward mobility.
He claimed that if the Congress comes to power in 2017 assembly election the party would formulate policies so that the Dalits feel like equal partners in the society.
He also assured to finish the contract system in recruitment of jobs if voted to power in the 2017 elections. He said the contract and outsourcing system of recruitment actually does away with the quota system which is the right of Dalits.
Later on, Channi visited Dera Sachkhand Ballan and sought the blessings of the dera head Baba Sant Niranjan Das. He also visited the residence of Jalandhar MP Chaudhary Santokh Singh and held an hour-long closed-door meeting with him.