Chandigarh: Charanjit Singh Channi took oath at 11:20 am today. Channi a Dalit Sikh, is Punjab’s 16th Chief Minister. A day after his name was announced by the Congress leadership for the top job in the state. Former CM Captain Amarinder Singh resigned on Saturday. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is said to attend the oath taking ceremony.
Earlier reports had said Rahul Gandhi would not attend the oath– likely to be a restricted ceremony because of Covid — but sources say the Congress leader has decided to make an exception, given the tumultuous circumstances of the Punjab power shift.
Earlier on Monday, Channi offered prayers at a Gurudwara in Rupnagar. A three-time MLA from Rupnagar’s Chamkaur Sahib, Channi, 58, will be the first Dalit chief minister of the state. He earlier served as the minister of technical education in the previous government, led by Singh.
Unlike his predecessor, Channi will have two deputies, both carefully chosen to fortify the Congress’s poll arithmetic.
Channi is a Dalit Sikh, which suggests his deputies will be from the Sikh and Hindu communities, as the Congress looks to cover as many voter bases as possible ahead of next year’s election.
Rahul Gandhi, in a message after the announcement, tweeted: “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.”
Reason for Amarinder Singh’s resignation
Captain Amarinder Singh resigned after the Punjab Congress MLA wrote a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi to replace the CM. Captain said he won’t tolerate the humiliation. He later that evening gave his resignation letter to the Governor.
Captain thanked all the officers and employees of the State for giving their best to put Punjab on the path of peace & progress in the 4.5 years of my Government, “On the eve of relinquishing my duties as CM, I thank the officers & employees of the State for giving their best to put Punjab on the path of peace & progress in the 4.5 years of my Government. May you continue to serve the people of the State with the same zeal & commitment.” he tweeted
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