New Delhi: Charanjit Singh Channi will take oath as the new Chief Minister of Punjab on Monday (September 20) at 11 am. He was unanimously selected as the leader of the Punjab Congress Legislative Party (CLP) today.
Channi, the successor of Captian Amarinder Singh, will be the first Dalit Chief Minister of Punjab. Addressing media after meeting Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Channi said, “We have presented our stance, unanimously supported by party MLAs, before the Governor. Oath taking ceremony will take place at 11 am tomorrow."
Channi, a three-time MLA from Chamkaur Sahib constituency, was announced as the successor of Amarinder Singh on Sunday. Announcing the new CM, Harish Rawat, Congress' Punjab in-charge, tweeted, "It gives me immense pleasure to announce that Charanjit Singh Channi has been unanimously elected as the Leader of the Congress Legislature Party of Punjab."
It gives me immense pleasure to announce that Sh. #CharanjitSinghChanni has been unanimously elected as the Leader of the Congress Legislature Party of Punjab.@INCIndia @RahulGandhi @INCPunjab pic.twitter.com/iboTOvavPd
— Harish Rawat (@harishrawatcmuk) September 19, 2021
Taking to Twitter, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi congratulated Channi. "Congratulations to Shri Charanjit Singh Channi Ji for the new responsibility. We must continue to fulfill the promises made to the people of Punjab. Their trust is of paramount importance," Gandhi wrote.
Congratulations to Shri Charanjit Singh Channi Ji for the new responsibility.
We must continue to fulfill the promises made to the people of Punjab. Their trust is of paramount importance.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 19, 2021
Channi was Technical Education Minister in the outgoing Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh's cabinet.
The development comes a day after Singh's resignation amid a bitter battle for power with state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu ahead of Punjab Assembly polls next year.
Reacting to Channi taking over his post, Amarinder Singh said he hopes that the new CM is able to keep Punjab safe. "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," he said.
Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu called Channi's selection "historic" which will be written in "golden letters".
Historic !! Punjab’s first Dalit CM-Designate … Will be written with Golden letters in History. A tribute to the spirit of the Constitution and the Congress !! Congratulations @CHARANJITCHANNI Bai pic.twitter.com/WavudGTPok
— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) September 19, 2021
Channi’s name as the next Punjab CM came a few hours after reports of another outgoing minister - Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa replacing Captain were rife. After Channi was confirmed as Singh's successor, Randhawa said, "I welcome the decision of the party high command."
Earlier on Sunday, veteran Congress leader Ambika Soni had reportedly told the party high command that she was not too keen on becoming the next Punjab CM. According to sources, Soni had made it clear to the party high command that the next Punjab CM should be a 'Sikh'.
(With agency inputs)