In an attempt to woo Dalit voters in the state, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday announced that if elected to power, the party will allot one deputy CM post to alliance partner BSP.
Badal made the announcement at a meeting of party workers in Banga, which falls in Doaba region and has large number of Dalits who have traditionally been supporters of the BSP. The SAD had formed an alliance with the BSP in Punjab after it walked out of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance over the farm laws issue.
Sources said that the decision was taken considering that the Congress could already have seized some advantage by choosing Charanjit Singh Channi as successor to Captain Amarinder Singh. The SAD had alleged “PR drama” when Channi, Punjab’s first Dalit CM, spoke of his “humble beginnings” in initial press meets.
“By announcing that one of the deputy CMs would be from the BSP, the Alkalis are trying to send a message that Dalits would get a decent representation if it comes to power,” said a political observer.
The SAD has been trying to woo Dalit voters, with party insiders fearing it could lose out on Hindu voters after breaking up with the BJP. SAD patriarch Parkash Singh Badal, who has been instrumental in clinching the alliance with BSP, has also invited Mayawati for election rallies in the state.
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