Verka’s presence at Charanjit Channi's rallies strengthens campaign : The Tribune India

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Verka’s presence at Charanjit Channi's rallies strengthens campaign

Verka’s presence at Charanjit Channi's rallies strengthens campaign

Former CM Charanjit Singh Channi with Congress leader Raj Kumar Verka at an election rally in Jalandhar. tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Deepkamal Kaur

Jalandhar, May 16

Having received some dent recently after certain deras of Jalandhar owing allegiance to the Valmiki/Mazhabi Sikh community started opposing the candidature of Congress candidate Charanjit S Channi, the presence of one of the most prominent Valmiki leader of the party Dr Raj Kumar Verka at his rallies on Thursday have partially undone his losses.

Channi had faced a lot of opposition from the Valmiki/ Mazhabi Sikh leaders within the party over the issue that as he had failed to resolve the issue of reservation within reservation during his tenure as the Chief Minister of Punjab.

Former Congress Jandiala MLA Sukhwinder Danny too had questioned Channi on why Jalandhar’s Valmiki/Mazhabi Sikh community should vote for him as he did not held them in withdrawal of litigation in the Supreme Court on the issue of 12.5 of 25 per cent of total SC reservation provided to them in 1975 during the tenure of Giani Zail Singh’s government. Danny had also pointed out that as the Punjab CM, Channi did not do anything to appease the Mazhabi Sikh community which was numerically the largest SC community of Punjab (31.6 pc of the total SC population).

After Danny stopped raking up the issue, other Mazhabi Sikh leaders had started the same rhetoric even bringing the heads of Valmiki deras into picture. The video bytes of these dera heads against Channi were also circulated on the social media.

However, after his daylong campaign for Channi today, Dr Verka said the issue of Valmiki/ Mazhabi Sikh samaj had been resolved. “We have held talks with the heads of Valmiki deras and opinion leaders from the samaj who have explained to them that the petition moved over the matter of reservation within reservation is actually being handled by Paramjit Singh Kainth, the BJP SC Morcha vice president, who also heads the Chamar Maha Sabha. Since he is a BJP leader, Channi could not practically help on the issue,” he said, while adding that things had almost come on track now.

Meanwhile, Danny, who had been fuming, has also been made the co-chairperson of the party campaign committee. He too has got busy with party’s campaign in Amritsar, Khadoor Sahib and Ferozepur Lok Sabha segments. Former bureaucrats SR Ladhar and Hussan Lal said that they were in no way involved in pushing the litigation against 12.5 of 25 per cent reservation for the Valmiki/Mazhabi Sikh community as had been alleged earlier.

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