Charanjit Channi Takes Oath as Chief Minister of Punjab Ahead of Assembly Elections
On Monday, Congress leader Charanjit Singh Channi took oath under Governor Banwarilal Purohit as the 16th chief minister of Punjab in Chandigarh. Just ahead of Assembly elections, Channi became the first person from a Dalit community to take charge as CM of Punjab.
Channi comes from the Ramdasia community, seeking a more prominent role of Dalits in the Punjab Cabinet, given their high rate in the party.
Channi’s name was declared by Congress Party just a day after Capt. Amarinder Singh submitted his resignation, referring to embarrassment following months of a row over power-sharing.
Later during the press conference, Channi said, “I am an Aam Aadmi”, and expressed gratitude toward the Congress Party, party president Sonia Gandhi, and party member Rahul Gandhi for offering him the chance to fill the position of Chief Minister of Punjab.
“We need to strengthen the state of Punjab, which is a farmers’ state. I appeal to the Central government to remove the farm laws.” I assure people that the electricity bill will be made less expensive, Channi added. He will decide on the sand mining mafia as well today.
In a press conference, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati congratulated Charanjit Singh Channi for the new role as CM of Punjab. She also said that the selection of Channi for the top post is nothing else but a political gimmick by the Congress Party. The move to contest the state polls under a non-Dalit only suggests that Congress still lacks full faith in the Dalit.