Kanwal Bakshi, a former member of Punjab subordinate services selection board and a senior Christian leader, on Thursday claimed that unscruplous state politicians had always exploited Christians for vote bank politics and done nothing for their welfare.
Bakshi visited Bhaddam, Nanohaarni, Khushipur, Kalanaur and Bakshiwal village and addressed public meetings there.
Addressing the well attended meetings, Kanwal Bakshi pointed out that the Christians were economically and socially suppressed in Punjab and most belonged to downtrodden classes.
Even though a minority, Christians with a population of 17-20 lakh had a strong presence throughout the state but the successive governments and political parties had always been trying to cut them to size.
Flays state minorities panel
The Christian leader said that the existing Punjab state commission for minorities was "toothless" since it had no executive and judicial powers.
Bakshi dared chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to issue a White Paper to show what the commission had done so far for the minorities in the state and what recommendations it had made to the Punjab government for their welfare.
He also demanded enumeration of steps the state government had taken regarding those recommendations, if at all made by the commission.
Bakshi further asserted that the need of the hour was that the Christians of Punjab recognised politicians using the community to further their own vested interests.
He asserted that the Christians of Punjab needed to rally behind a strong leadership to fulfillment of their demands.
He also criticised the present government for not giving money under the 'shagun' scheme to Christian girls in time as well as not ensuring free education to girls from the community up to graduation as promised in the poll manifesto.
Bakshi said that he along with his supporters would visit areas inhabited by Christians in the state to make them aware of their political importance.