In what appears to be an attempt to assuage the pain of Dalits following spate of recent crimes against the community members in the state, chief minister Prakash Singh Badal gave special hearings to them at his sangat darshan programmes in Mansa on Saturday.
Badal ensured that the Dalits present at the events were heard before everybody else. In villages where there were no representatives of the community, the chief minister was heard enquiring about Dalits from the government officials. In most of the villages, the chief minister accepted the demand for the construction of ‘dharamshalas’ for the community.
Before CM’s arrival at most venues, local Akali leaders were seen asking the villagers not to raise hyper local issues, however, Badal asked the security guards not to stop anyone seeking to meet him. He gave away grants worth Rs 4 crore for development works in more than 20 villages.
Akali MP Balwinder Singh Bhunder, who seldom attends the sangat darshans of Union minister Harsimrat Badal, was seen anchoring the show. During the sangat darshans of Harsimrat and her husband deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in Mansa, Youth Akali Dal leaders call the shots.
On Congress’ proposal to burn ‘Chitta’ Ravan, the chief minister told mediapersons that he was not at all “touchy” about the issue as claimed by PPCC chief Capt Amarinder Singh.
Refuting the charges of misappropriation of funds in procurement of food grain, the CM said the operations were transparent and there was no scope for wrongdoing.