Mayawati says Punjab CM's appointment is 'poll gimmick'
Chandigarh, Sep 20: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati said on Monday termed Charanjit Singh Channi's appointment as the next chief minister of Punjab as a poll gimmick while congratulating the latter for his new role.
"I congratulate Charanjit Singh Channi on becoming Punjab CM. It would have been better if he had been appointed as CM earlier. Channi's appointment as CM a few months ahead of Punjab assembly elections appears to be a poll gimmick," said Mayawati.
"I have also come to know through media that the next Punjab assembly elections will be fought under the leadership of a non-Dalit. This means that Congress still does not fully trust the Dalits. Congress is also scared of the SAD-BSP alliance in Punjab," she added.
Channi (58), a minister in the outgoing Amarinder Singh cabinet, comes from the Dalit community.
Channi's selection assumes significance as the dissension-riven Congress faces the Assembly polls in less than five months.
The BJP had earlier announced that if voted to power in Punjab, it will make a Dalit the chief minister, while the SAD, which is fighting the coming polls in alliance with the BSP, had said that its Deputy Chief Minister would be from the Dalit community.