Charanjit Singh Channi is new CM of Punjab

Charanjit Singh Channi
Charanjit Singh Channi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked Charanjit Singh Channi on Monday following his inauguration as Punjab’s 16th chief minister. PM Modi stated on Twitter that the Union government will continue to cooperate with the new government in the border state for the sake of the people.

Charanjit Singh Channi, 58, was once a student leader who rose through the ranks and believes his strength comes in his ability to connect with the masses. Much before Congress MPs began plotting a coup against Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Channi, a Ramdasia, had been advocating for increased Dalit representation in the Punjab Cabinet, owing to Dalits’ significant percentage in the party. A lawyer, graduate of management, lifelong learner, and saviour of the Dalits. The new chief minister of Punjab, a self-made politician, is a guy of many facets.

Channi, who served as the Punjab government’s Minister of Technical Education and Industrial Training, was well-known for frequently driving his own automobile and paying the toll tax. As a result, it was unsurprising that he arrived to the Punjab Bhawan today riding pillion on a motorcycle ridden by Sunil Jakhar, the former PPCC chief.

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Channi was a vocal supporter of the movement against the chief minister that gained momentum this April following the High Court’s decision to halt investigations into a case involving sacrilege.

He was one of four ministers who travelled to Dehradun last week to meet Punjab Chief Minister Harish Rawat. However, unlike the others, he elected to attend the virtual Cabinet meeting a day later and even expressed gratitude to the CM for a step taken on behalf of the SC students, fueling rumours that he is reversing course. Channi, on the other hand, continued to rally opposition to Amarinder and was a signatory to the letter calling for a CLP meeting that prompted Amarinder’s exit.

It was Amarinder who opened the ground for his readmission to the party in December 2010, three years after he defected against the Congress’s 2007 Chamkaur Sahib candidate. He contested and won the seat as an independent and later served in the Assembly as an associate member of the Shiromani Akali Dal. He was once regarded close to Manpreet Badal of the PPP, who served as a minister in Amarinder’s cabinet.

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