Amritsar Congress candidate Gurjeet Singh Aujla summons Channi on ‘anti-Dalit’ charges

Tribune News Service

Charanjit Singh Teja

Amritsar, May 23

With an eye on Dalit voters and to counter allegations over his remarks against the Scheduled Caste community, Congress candidate Gurjeet Singh Aujla has frequently quoted Charanjit Singh Channi in his election speeches to resonate with them. The famous slogan “Channi Karda Mathle Hole”, used in the 2022 state assembly elections, has now become a must for him to woo Dalit voters after the opposition party targeted him in public rallies and called him anti-Dalit. However, Aujla chose Channi, though he was on good terms with other Congress leaders in the state. Aujla added a few more lines to the slogan, expressing his resentment that people do not believe in Channi. “Channi Karda Mathle Hole, to know who we are, to know who we are.” Addressing a poll rally in Jaura Pathak area, Aujla said many schemes were initiated during Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s tenure but the Ahmed Aamir Party government could not continue.

As per the 2011 census, the Scheduled Caste (SC) population constitutes 31 percent of the total population of Amritsar district. This is a sizeable population that is vocal in their politics. All the four major parties fielded “upper caste” candidates, including three Jats and one Brahmin. With the strong hold of the Bahujan Samaj Party gone, Dalits in Majha region used to support the Congress, but things have changed after the SAD’s freebies during the SAD government. Even the Bharatiya Janata Party has been gaining strength by taking up the Dalit issue and its conflict with farmer unions.

An old video in which Aujla purportedly linked the crime to SC youths has gone viral in the past few days. Opposition candidates are now targeting Aujla for his remarks. Aujla alleged that the old video was uploaded on social media and some sentences were removed to convey a negative message. Despite claims that the video clip was edited, he has tendered a written apology.

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