Eye on Dalit votes, CM to visit Dera Ballan todayUpdated: Oct 17, 2019 23:53 IST
In an apparent attempt to woo Dalit voters ahead of the assembly bypolls in the state, chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh will visit Dera Sachkhand, Ballan, a prominent centre of Ravidasia community, on Friday.
Dalits, who constitute around 32% of Punjab’s population, have been playing a decisive role in Phagwara and Mukerian constituencies, where bypolls will be held on October 21, besides Dakha and Jalalabad.
A majority of Dalits in the state belong to the Ravidasia community which has high predominance across the Doaba region.
An interesting poll battle is on the cards in Phagwara constituency, reserved for scheduled castes, with the ruling Congress hoping to win from here for the first time since 2002. The BJP is trying its best to defend the seat that it has been winning for the past three elections.
The CM, who will review the paddy procurement in Jalandhar district on Friday, will also hold a roadshow in Phagwara segment in Kapurthala district.
Political observers said Amarinder’s visit to Dera Ballan is an attempt to cash on the resentment among the Dalits against the BJP over the demolition of a historic Ravidas temple in New Delhi in August this year. The temple was razed on a Supreme Court order over allegations of encroachment.
However, cabinet minister Sham Sunder Arora, who is poll in-charge of Phagwara seat, termed the CM’s scheduled visit to Dera Ballan as routine affair. The dera falls in Jalandhar district, not in Kapurthala, he added.