Kejriwal says Punjab Deputy CM will be Dalit

New Delhi: In an attempt to woo dalit community in the state, Aam Aadmi Party National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal today said that a Dalit will become the deputy chief minister of Punjab if his party comes to power in state Assembly polls scheduled next year. He made this announcement at the launch of a dedicated manifesto for Dalits, which constitute nearly 25 per cent of the state’s population.

“A Dalit will be the deputy chief minister when AAP comes to power in Punjab,” said the Delhi chief minister, who has been campaigning in the state for the past few days.

However, there was no word on the chief ministerial candidate of the party.

AAP is being seen as a serious contender in the state that has given four MPs to the party in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. As Kejriwal seeks to widen his influence outside Delhi, wooing the dalit community has been as a major aspect of party’s poll strategy. After the alleged suicide by Rohith Vemula, a Dalit student from the Hyderabad Central University, and flogging of Dalits in Una in Gujarat, the AAP has been attacking the BJP.

In Delhi, Kejriwal chose Rakhi Birla, an MLA from the Dalit community, as a replacement for deputy speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly Bandana Kumari.