Charanjit Singh Channi became the first Dalit chief minister of Punjab on Monday a day after the ruling Congress nominated him for the post. A member of the Ramdasia community, he is among a handful of Dalits who have served as chief ministers:
— Damodaram Sanjivayya (Andhra Pradesh) was the first Dalit to become a chief minister. He held the post from January 1960 to March 1962. In 1962, Sanjivayya went on to become the first Dalit chief of the Congress.
— Bhola Paswan Shastri, a freedom fighter, served as Bihar’s chief minister from 1968 to 1971. He was also the first Dalit to be elected as the state’s top official.
Also Read | Punjab CM Channi, Sidhu to visit Delhi, hold talks on cabinet expansion
— Ram Sundar Das, another freedom fighter, became the second Dalit chief minister of Bihar in 1979.
— Mayawati, the Bahujan Samaj Party chief, a Dalit, has served as Uttar Pradesh chief minister four times. She is also the lone woman member of the community to have held the post.
— Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde, a Dalit, has served as the Maharashtra chief minister as well as a Union minister.
— Jitan Ram Manjhi served as Bihar’s third Dalit chief minister from May 2014 to February 2015.
Sign on to read the HT ePaper epaper.hindustantimes.comInternet Explorer Channel Network