Trashing it as nothing but poll optics, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ridiculed the Akali and BJP promise of appointing Dalits as Deputy CM and CM respectively, if voted to power.

Given the shockingly poor track record of both parties, which did nothing for the SC community during their term in power, the Chief Minister said the SAD and the BJP had failed to ensure the welfare of the Dalits in the state for 10 years and are now resorting to political gimmickry to woo the community with an eye on the 2022 elections.

“Sukhbir Badal is now promising a Deputy Chief Minister, but has nothing to show what he or his party, in alliance with the BJP ever did for the community,” remarked the Chief Minister, terming it a political antics aimed at misleading the people with an eye on votes. It is ridiculous the way the BJP also quickly jumped on to the wagon to promise a Dalit Chief Minister if it is elected by the people of Punjab, he said, adding that given the angst against the party in the state over the farmers’ issue, even finding one winnable candidate would be a challenge for them.

On Wednesday Capt Amarinder announced that at least 30% of funds under all government schemes will be spent for the welfare of the state’s SC population along with a host of other measures for the upliftment of the Dalit community, as a mark of homage to Dr BR Ambedkar, who he said should be remembered as the first Indian who achieved so much for the Dalit Samaj. Paying floral tributes to the architect of the Indian Constitution, Dr BR Ambedkar, on his 130th birth anniversary, at a virtual state-level event, the Chief Minister also announced filling up of the SC vacancy backlog in all departments on priority, while promising to explore a post-matric overseas scholarship scheme for SC students.