Singer-turned- Politician Hans Raj Hans on Monday embarrassed the Congress when he snatched a microphone and jumped off the stage during a party event at Nayagaon, near Chandigarh.
The incident unfolded during the Dalit Convention, held to attract Dalit voters to the party. On the dais were Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh, general secretary Punjab in-charge Asha Kumari and national party president of Dalit Wing K Raju.
Shamsher Singh Dullo, Rajya Sabha member from Punjab, alleged during his address that although the Congress inducted Dalits into the party fold, it failed to honour them.
Congress Legislature Party leader Charanjit Singh Channi, however, countered him when he spoke next. “The party appointed a Jat Sikh as the party chief in Punjab and they appointed me the CLP leader,” he said. He pointed out that a Rajya Sabha member from the state was also elected from the SC community.
At this, Hans rushed to Channi and grabbed the microphone. He claimed that the speakers before him talked of justice and unity but accused them of ignoring him. Hans, who was quite upset after Dullo was chosen over him to the Parliament, then jumped off the stage to join his supporters who raised slogans in his favour.
Asha Kumari condoned his behaviour. “We are a democratic party,” she said. “Everybody has the right to make his point. If the person chooses to jump off the stage, there is nothing wrong in it. This was party’s internal programme. Why should the media come to such functions? After 10 minutes Channi was on the right side of Captain and Hans was on the left. Later in the PPCC also, we were all together.”
Hans was taken into party fold by Amarinder early this year with a promise that he would be nominated in Rajya Sabha. Dullo, however, approached Congress president Sonia Gandhi, alongwith a few Dalit leaders, had offered to resign. He was then nominated to the House and later, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi placated Hans.