Charanjit Singh Channi sworn in as the first Dalit CM of Punjab

CHANDIGARH: Congress leader Charanjit Singh Channi was sworn in as the 27th chief minister (CM) of Punjab, the first Dalit to hold the post in the northern state, along with two deputies CMs, MLA from Dera Baba Nanak, Sukhjinder Randhawa and OP Soni from Amritsar Central.

Channi as a Dalit face, Nanak a Jat Singh and Soni representing the Hindu community were administered the oath of secrecy by Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit in presence of party president Rahul Gandhi, All India Congress Committee general secretary Harish Rawat, state party president Navjot Singh Sidhu, party leader Ajay Maken and former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

The former chief minister who had abruptly resigned saying that he felt 'humiliated' by the party actions, did not attend the event however he did extend his wishes to Channi. Channi along with three other ministers had rebelled against Amarinder Singh while choosing to side with the camp of Sidhu.

By appointing the three from different communities to the top post, the Congress party has attempted to maintain the caste balance that players a very important role in electoral politics in the state.

Channi was very emotional as he made his remarks after being sworn in as he thanked the party leadership for elevating him to the post of CM. He also asked the centre to withdraw the three contentious farm laws. The Chief Minister said his party stood firmly with the farmers agitating against the 'black' farm laws.

The festivities were however marred by a controversy on Rawat's statement that the 2022 Assembly elections in Punjab would be fought under the leadership of Sidhu, calling him 'very popular.' 

Former Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Sunil Jakhar described the party's state in-charge Rawat's statement as 'baffling' and undermines the CM's authority.


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