Just before the Punjab Assembly elections, Congress has surprised political opponents by making Charanjit Singh Channi the Chief Minister. With this political bet, the party has eliminated the issues of other parties in the state. At the same time, the Congress has also started a national discourse by running the Dalit card. Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi is a Dalit.
There are about 32 percent Dalits in Punjab, but no Dalit ever reached the post of Chief Minister. This is the reason why the BJP had promised to make a Dalit Chief Minister after splitting from the Akali Dal. Keeping in mind the Dalits, the Aam Aadmi Party made Harpal Cheema the Leader of the Opposition. At the same time, Akali Dal and BSP had promised to make him Deputy Chief Minister.
After this move of the Congress, the pressure on other parties in Punjab to change the strategy has increased. At the same time, this decision of the party will also affect other states. Along with Punjab, there are elections in UP and Uttarakhand. Dalit voters are in an influential role in these states. In such a situation, if the party is successful in connecting Dalits, Muslims and Savarnas in the elections, then this decision can prove to be lifesaving for it.
In Gujarat, there are seven percent Dalits and 11 percent tribals. 13 seats in the assembly are reserved for Dalits and 27 for tribals. In the 2017 elections, the Congress was successful in winning 16 tribal seats, but most of the Dalit seats were won by the BJP. In such a situation, through Congress Charanjit Singh Channi, the party can strengthen its penetration among Dalits in Gujarat elections. Dalits constitute about 21 per cent of the population in Uttar Pradesh, but they are very politically aware. In such a situation, the party will try to win the trust of Dalits through Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. 34 seats are reserved in Punjab. In the 2017 elections, the party had won 21 of these seats. But the alliance of Akali Dal and BSP can challenge the party in the elections, so through Charanjit Singh Channi, it has strengthened its hold in Malwa, Doaba and Majha.