Chandigarh, March 7: The results of Punjab assembly elections along with four other assemblies will be announced on March 11. The electoral fight in the state has turned into a tripartite bid to power. While ruling Akali Dal-BJP alliance is feeling the heat of anti-incumbency, the Congress led by Captain Amarinder Singh appears to be restless for a comeback after ten years of exile. Aam Aadmi Party could also prove to an underdog given the huge gathering in its rallies. Apparently, in their bid to claim power in the state, all parties have recognised the political influence of Dalits in the state.
As per latest data, Punjab has the largest Dalit population in ratio with the total population of the state. Approximately 32 percent population belongs to Dalit communities in the state. The immigration of these communities in the late 1970s and early 80s to United States of America, Canada and other European countries ensured a smooth flow of funds back home. Empowered by this phenomenon, Dalits in the state too have claimed their bid in the power. Interestingly, Dalits too have found their share in all parties across the political spectrum.
While the new entrant in the state, Aam Aadmi Party promised a Dalit deputy chief Minister, the Congress has too put all efforts in the wooing Dalit voters in the state. The party has made Jagjit Singh Chaudhary from Jalandhar made a prime dalit face in the government.Another prime example which shows the desperation of political parties in garnering Dalit votes could be seen in the fact that all mainstream parties have visited prominent deras in the state. Deras are religious places to which Dalits in the state bear allegiance. Deras came into the socio-political scenario in the state when Dalits were denied entry into many gurudwaras. Infuriated by the humiliation, Dalits established their own religious deras.
Dera Sachkhand Ballan is considered to be one of largest Deras of Ravidassia followers. Ravidassia community is the largest Dalit community in Punjab. The Dera came to prominence when its head Sant Niranjan Das and his deputy Sant Rama Nand was attacked by Sikh extremists in 2009 in Vienna which resulted in the death of the latter.
Based in Ballan village of Jalandhar, Dera Sachkhand Ballan exerts huge influence in Doaba region which contributes 23 seats out of 117 seats to Punjab Legislative Assembly. Ravidassia community votes ranges from 20 to 50 percent in each constituency. The Dera has been visited several times by Aam Aadmi Party Convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to woo its devotees in assembly elections. Apart from it, the party also made Bhagwant Mann an ambassador to garner dalit votes.
|15||Banga||Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar||SC|
|16||Chamkaur Sahib||Rup Nagar||SC|
|17||Bassi Pathan||Fatehgarh Sahib||SC|
|22||Nihal Singh Wala||Moga||SC|
|25||Malaut||Sri Muktsar Sahib||SC|
Election results would be declared on March 11. India.com will bring to you all the latest updates from the day of votes counting.