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Punjab cabinet: Despite speaking out against Sidhu, vocal Dalit face may make the cut

Verka won his first election from Verka constituency in 2002. Defeated in 2007, Verka reached Punjab Assembly in 2012 and 2017 from Amritsar West seat.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar |
Updated: September 26, 2021 8:28:29 am
punjab cabinet sadRaj Kumar Verka

A vocal Dalit face of the party, Raj Kumar Verka remained vice chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled
Castes for two terms. He also used his position to consolidate his base among Dalits in Amritsar.

But politics aside, Verka is also a theatre artist. He produced and acted in movie ‘Dil Pardesi Ho Geya’. While he joined politics, he never left the theatre behind.

He would regularly produce short movies, documentaries and songs on social awareness. He had also produced song on Covid-19. His short movie on Kashmir had created controversy over portrayal of Indian Army soldiers.

He was close to local Congress leader Phool Chand Gandhi, who helped Verka develop roots in the Congress party.

Verka won his first election from Verka constituency in 2002. Defeated in 2007, Verka reached Punjab Assembly in 2012 and 2017 from Amritsar West seat.

Being Dalit face of the party, his name has remained in contention for PPCC president post since 2018. Captain Amarinder Singh government also made Verka chairman of Punjab State Warehousing Corporation.

Verka was expecting Amarinder to give him a place in the Cabinet after Navjot Singh Sidhu stepped down, but that did not happen. He was, however, given Cabinet rank in 2019.

At one time, he presented himself as mediator between Sidhu and Captain. However, he was reportedly inclined towards Captain Amarinder Singh as fight between Captain and Sidhu intensified.

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