Chandigarh: Congress leader Charanjit Singh Channi is scheduled to take oath today, as the 16th chief minister of Punjab, at 11am. The swearing-in will be held in Chandigarh, in a minimal ceremony. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, and few other leaders, are unlikely to attend the oath-taking ceremony.
The party’s Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat informed that, there will be two deputy chief ministers in the state. He mentioned that one deputy chief minister will be from Jat Sikh community and the other will be from the Hindu community. The announcement came after AICC-appointed onlookers Harish Chaudhary and Ajay Maken, and Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat, held frantic meetings in Chandigarh with party leaders, and collected feedback from MLAs ahead of short-listing the name.
Channi, the first Dalit to hold the chief minister’s post in the state, was Technical Education Minister in Captain Amarinder Singh’s cabinet. Channi was unanimously elected as the Leader of the Congress Legislature Party.
Outgoing CM, Captain Amarinder, extended his greetings to the newly selected Chief. ‘My best wishes to Charanjit Singh Channi. I hope he’s able to keep the border state of Punjab safe, and protect our people from the growing security threat from across the border’, Raveen Thukral, his media advisor, tweeted the message.
Channi, a close aide of State PCC president Navjot Singh Sidhu, was one among the Cabinet ministers in the outgoing government, who rebelled against Capt. Amarinder Singh. He was elected to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in 2007, from Chamkaur Sahib Consistency for the first time, and later he won 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 holding charges of Technical Education and Industrial Training, Employment Generation along with Science and Technology.