Unanimously elected leader of the Congress Legislature Party of Punjab, MLA Charanjit Singh Chani is all set to take oath as the 16th Chief Minister of Punjab today at 11 am. The swearing-in ceremony will be held in Chandigarh.
Channi a three-time MLA from Rupnagar’s Chamkaur Sahib – will be Punjab’s first Dalit Chief Minister. He will take over as new CM following former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh’s resignation on Saturday.
The Congress infighting in Punjab has been almost perpetual, ever since Navjot Singh Sidhu took over as the PPCC Chief. Soon after this, Amarinder submitted his resignation citing discontent and ‘humiliation’ he faced within the party. He submitted his resignation to state Governor Banwarilal Purohit.
Charanjit Singh Channi
The Congress MLA’s appointment as the new CM comes in just months before the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections. Here are a few things to note about Punjab’s first Dalit leader.
- Channi was Technical Education Minister in the outgoing Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s cabinet.
- According to the official website of the Punjab Government, Channi remained Municipal Councilor for three terms and moved on to become the President of Municipal Council Kharar for a two-term.
- He was elected to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha from Chamkaur Sahib Consistency for the first time in 2007. He was elected to the assembly seat again in 2012 and then in 2017.
- In 2015, Channi was elected as Leader of the Opposition in the 14th Punjab Vidhan Sabha.
- In 2017, he was appointed as the Cabinet Minister for Technical Education and Industrial Training, Employment Generation and also Science and Technology in the government of Punjab.
Rahul Gandhi unlikely to attend
As per sources, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is unlikely to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Charanjit Singh Channi as Punjab’s new Chief Minister on Monday in Chandigarh. They further informed that the gathering at the ceremony will be small and some other leaders will also not be attending.
Two deputy CMs
Up until Channi’s appointment was announced, there was speculation regarding the appointment of two deputy CMs in Punjab. Congress party in-charge Harish Rawat confirmed this on Monday.
Speaking to new agency ANI, Harish Rawat said, “There will be two Deputy Chief Ministers in the Punjab government. There is a Sikh community in the state, so now one Deputy Chief Minister will be from Jat Sikh community and the other will be from the Hindu community.”