Opinion

“Focus on Dalit vote bank”, churns on 42 percent votes, BJP likely to bet on veterans in Punjab polls

Punjab Tribune Bureau | January 21, 2022 05:21 PM

59 seats are needed for the majority in Punjab. BJP has a lot of seats in Doaba. It will certainly be inevitable for the BJP to contest more seats than playing the Dalit card in Doaba.

 JALANDHAR: For the first time, the Bharatiya Janata Party is contesting the elections in Punjab by separating from the Akali Dal. The party is all set to play the Dalit card to garner 32 per cent of Dalit votes in Punjab. if Dalit veteran leaders do not come into the fray from the BJP side in Doaba, then the party may have to face a lot of trouble.

According to the Doaba, where 42 per cent vote of the Dalits constitute. while Punjab has 32 per cent of the population.

Therefore, the party needs such strong faces, who can find the cut of CM Channi and Akali Dal's ally BSP votes in Punjab. There are only three or four big faces of Dalits in the party, which Vijay Sampla is the chairman of the National Scheduled Castes, while Somprakash is the Union Minister of State. Hansraj Hans, a leading leader of Valmiki Samaj of Jalandhar, he is a Lok Sabha member from Delhi. Rajesh Bagha has state general secretary. These leaders belong to Doaba.

 

After brainstorming on behalf of the party, it has been decided that it is necessary to contest the assembly elections with a big face of Dalits, otherwise it may affect 32 percent of Punjab's vote. Union Minister of State Somprakash is a Lok Sabha MP from Hoshiarpur and the party does not want to take the risk of holding him by-election for the Hoshiarpur parliamentary seat by contesting the assembly elections. So, the other strong leader is Hansraj Hans, but he is an MP from Delhi. The only option left with the party is Vijay Sampla, who has been recommended to contest from the Phagwara assembly seat. His nephew Ashu Sampla was already active in this seat for a long time and was meeting many people.

 

Sampla's son Sahil Sampla also demanding BJP seat from the Sham Chaurasi assembly constituency. From the side of the party, there has been a possibility of agreeing on the names of both. The problem for the BJP in Punjab is that their vote share has fallen drastically. The vote share of the Congress in 2017 was 38.5 per cent, while that of the Aam Aadmi Party was 23.7 per cent, SAD was 25.7 per cent and that of the BJP was 5.4 per cent. The party's vote share has dropped significantly after the farmers' agitation.

 

The BJP will contest on 64 seats in Punjab, former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh's Punjab Lok Congress to 39, Shiromani Akali Dal Samyukta to 14 and four to Simranjit Singh Bains' Lok Insaaf Party. Only 59 seats are needed for majority in Punjab. BJP has a lot of seats in Doaba. If BJP contests more seats in Doaba then it will definitely be inevitable to play the Dalit card.

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