Congress playing Dalit Politics to win Punjab
Congress vice-president, Rahul gandhi, will be the star attraction in the Congress convesntion for dalits in Amritsar on September 17th. The Convention is clearly organised to attract votes from the huge dalit population in Punjab. At present Rahul is busy in his Deoria to Delhi yatra in the poll-bound state of Uttar Pradesh. The Punjab Assembly elections are to be held early next year.
The population of dalits is almost 32% in Punjab and has swing powers in marginal constituencies. Apart from the convention, the Congress also has a massive outreach programme in place which would be set in motion by the end of this month. The Congress will declare that 33% of chairmanships in the state will be exclusively reserved for dalits, a new idea to woo the dalits in the state.
The Shagun scheme for the girl child, which entails Rs 51,000 for the girl child will also be extended to all dalits. At the moment the scheme caters to Scheduled Castes and Christians only.
Also, when two Rajya Sabha nominations fell vacant in March this year in Punjab, the Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh prevailed over the Congress high command to give one nomination to a dalit, Shamsher Singh Dullo.
The Congress is planning to appoint booth level workers much before the elections. The concentration will be on dalits and minorities. The Congress feels that the BSP does not have a leader in Punjab and the dalit votes should come to the Congress. Senior leaders of the Congress will be travelling the entire length of Punjab as per the punjab outreach programme, expected to be six months long.
As there are 13 parliamentary constituencies in Punjab the Congress will be launching a vehicle for each constituency.
These will have election propaganda items, senior leaders of the Congress and congress workers will be accompanying these vehicles. Congress spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit, a brahmin herself, said that “the congress has always stood for weaker sections of the of the society and in Punjab too equal representation will be given to all”.