Reacting to the Indian National Congress carved out a new chapter in India’s history and that of Punjab by today’s swearing in the first Dalit Chief Minister of Punjab in shape of Sardar Charanjit Singh Channi. It is a matter of great pride for every young and old congress worker, for every poor and disadvantaged and Dalit of this country that this singular decision will fortify social justice foundations in this country. It will open new doors of empowerment for our Dalit brothers and sisters, for our backward brothers and sisters, for our disadvantaged sections of our populace. It has proved what Shri Rahul Gandhi always said, that he believes that the doors of echelons of power need to be opened for the poorest of the poor and they must lead us from the front and not be the bystanders in the gallery and that is what the Congress Party has today proved.
A person, who has risen from the most humble ranks, did manual labour proudly with his father has today become the Chief Minister of Punjab, coming from the Dalit Community. This proves that the Congress Party has space for everyone, whoever you are, wherever you come from and whatever disadvantaged sections that anybody may come from, the doors will always be opened.
I also want to say now that the new Congress Chief Minister and his two Deputy Chief Ministers have already set down to taking historical decisions. Congress Party government has already waived electricity bills in the cities of Punjab, domestic electricity bills up to 200 units, but, the sewage and drinking water bills were still being charged. For those living in small houses, the poor, the backwards, the Dalits, the disadvantages 150-200 sq. yards, our Chief Minister has announced and I think, the Cabinet will take a formal decision that there will be a waiver of these bills and government will bear that burden, whether it is sewage or drinking water. Similarly in the villages of Punjab, the water bills have been waived by your Chief Minister. Electricity bills have already been waived by the Congress Government. Our Government will take historical decision to ensure that social justice, equality and equanimity between all classes of people is restored totally.
I will be failing in my duty if I don’t thank, outgoing Chief Minister and our elder Captain Amarinder Singh Ji, who ably led the Congress Government. There can be some differences of opinion, but, the magnanimity with which he came forward and congratulated and supported, Sardar Charanjit Singh Channi, yesterday, proves his maturity as also establishes that we will continue to get his guidance and his experience in days to come.
Bharatiya Janata Party, Akali Dal (Badal), AAP and Bahujan Samaj Party have unwarrantedly, shamelessly and regrettably resorted to attacking the candidature of Sardar Charanjit Singh Channi. May I ask Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, you have been in power for 7 long years, Mr. Modi, you and your allies are in power in over a dozen states, have you ever appointed a Dalit as Chief Minister of BJP- No. Sardar Charanjit Singh Channi is the only Dalit Chief Minister of the Congress Party. Sardar Charanjit Singh Channi is the only Dalit Chief Minister in India today, today sworn in by the Congress Party and the other two Chief Ministers that Congress Party has come from backward classes, whether in Rajasthan, or whether in Chhattisgarh, that is the social justice being emulated by the Congress Party.
So, we have a Prime Minister, who only speaks and we have the leadership of the Congress Party in Sonia Ji and Rahul Ji that delivers, that is the principal difference between the two, so we would urge, Narendra Modi Ji, J.P. Nadda Ji, Sukhbir Singh Badal Ji, Kejriwal Ji and Mayawati Ji, do not grudge the rightful due to the son of a Dalit, who today is Chief Minister of Punjab and instead of shamelessly criticising him, hail his elevation as Chief Minister of Punjab.