Political narratives change as Cong goes ‘innovative’

Political narratives change as Cong goes ‘innovative’

CM Charanjit Singh Channi interacts with Cong workers in Ludhiana.

Manav Mander

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23

The Punjab politics has turned upside down in the past two months. The unexpected bang of Charanjit Singh Channi becoming the first Dalit Chief Minister of the state signalled that the next election is truly underway. The Congress has proved that it is going ‘innovative’ with its political strategies.

The CM face for the upcoming poll has not been revealed yet and Harish Chaudhary, Punjab Congress affairs In-charge, during his visit to Ludhiana did not reveal party cards about the CM face and instead, said they would fight under collective leadership.

Channi may not be a popular leader but with this, the Congress has indicated that they are moving a step forward by shunning away dependence on the Jat Sikh leadership. The Channi card played well, especially for the Dalit population, as the state has the highest 32 per cent of Dalit population in the country. Channi, who always portrayed himself as a ‘common man’, is trying to give a direct competition to AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal.

A Dalit residing in old Ludhiana city said he never thought anybody among them could lead the state. “He is one among us and listens to people’s problems and also solves them on the spot. My heart and soul is with him.”

Now that the BJP has announced to repeal the three controversial farm laws, it has created ripples in the political circles and other parties are worried if this can lead to political gain to the BJP in the coming elections.

CM Channi while addressing a party workers’ meeting in Ludhiana said farmers had to remain vigilant till the draconian farm laws were repealed.

He said fresh conspiracies were being hatched to harm the interests of the farmers, besides derailing progress and prosperity of the state. At the same time, Channi is also trying to strike a chord with rural population after he announced free water and low power bills after taking charge in the poll-bound state but the rural populace only wants their loans to be waived off as promised by the Congress government when it was formed.

HS Lakhowal, general secretary of the BKU, said farmers could not get fooled by these announcements and now, he knows that these were also mere an eyewash. “The Congress when came to power in the state promised to waive off loans and after over four years also, the main demand of the farmers is loan waiver. We will support Channi only if he waives off the same while rest of everything is a gimmick,” Lakhowal said.

Freebies’ announcement scares bizmen

On the other hand, industrialists are frightened from Channi due to freebies he is announcing since he took over.

“Freebies are being announced majorly for the farm sector and those belonging to the industry is worried as to who will bear the burden of these freebies. We do not trust the Finance Minister as earlier he said the state exchequer is empty and now, he says they have money. How can the situation change all of a sudden,” said BadishJindal, president of the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association.

A senior Congress leader said: “It was Sidhu who triggered this transition. Channi is doing a good job but as everybody knows he is a short-term CM. The switch will help the party to some extent but the question now remains is that who will be the CM candidate for the upcoming poll and that can be one of the major deciding factors for voters,” he said.

Tribune Shorts


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