Channi to Steer Congress in Punjab

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Playing the Dalit card deftly in Punjab, the Congress on Sunday picked up 58-year-old conventional Congressman Charanjit Singh Channi as the brand new chief minister of the border state. He would be the first Dalit to carry the submit within the state.

After assembly the governor at Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh, Channi mentioned “the oath-taking ceremony will take place at 11 am on Monday”.

Besides sending a pre-poll message to the poll-bound state with round 34% Dalit inhabitants throughout the Hindu-Sikh communities, the Congress management is hopeful that the transfer would blunt Captain Amarinder Singh’s post-resignation plots and ship a compromise to defuse the get together’s inner rat race among the many senior leaders for the highest submit. There will probably be two deputy CMs, representing the Jat Sikh and Hindu communities. Channi and his staff can have almost 4 months to carry out and consolidate earlier than the state goes to polls early subsequent yr.

Channi, Sukhwinder Randhawa and Tript Bajwa, all unique supporters of Amarinder Singh and his Cabinet colleagues, fashioned a formidable trio who led the revolt in opposition to Singh earlier than Navjot Singh Sidhu jumped in to market himself earlier than the Gandhis because the face of the anti-Singh rebel.

Ironically, Jat Sikhs Sidhu and Randhawa opposed one another’s chief ministerial pitch on Sunday. Channi is thought to be near senior chief Ambika Soni, who had earlier within the day dominated herself out of the race by asserting that Punjab ought to have a Sikh CM. Her remark nipped the probabilities of ex-PCC chief Sunil Jakhar, whose declare was additionally reportedly pushed by his relative and AICC functionary Randeep Surjewala.

Channi was not too long ago embroiled in an argument over an alleged textual content message he had despatched to a girl officer, one thing his supporters claimed was a part of the outgoing CM’s plot to focus on him. He was chief of opposition in Punjab’s 2012-17 meeting.

Propping up Channi will assist Congress counter AAP’s promise of creating a Dalit CM after the Punjab polls and Akali Dal’s promise of creating a Dalit deputy CM, in addition to the get together forming an alliance with Mayawati’s BSP. Even the Dalits of Punjab have not too long ago raised their declare over the coveted submit.

After deferring CLP conferences earlier within the day, and talks amongst MLAs and with the excessive command, AICC common secretary incharge Harish Rawat tweeted: “It gives me immense pleasure to announce that Sh. Charanjit Singh Channi has been unanimously elected as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party.”

Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, KC Venugopal and Ambika Soni mentioned and took the ultimate name after contemplating inputs Rawat and his AICC colleague Ajay Maken despatched from Chandigarh.

“The Congress Party has always heralded social reforms and revolutions in governments and establishments. It is the Congress which gave India it’s first President from the Sikh community, Giani Zail Singh ji, first PM from the Sikh community, Manmohan Singh ji, and first Dalit Sikh Union home minister, Buta Singh Ji. Today, the Congress leadership has responded to the aspirations of the people of Punjab by making Channi ji as the first Dalit CM of the state. No other political party can match Congress’ commitment to social justice and empowerment,” Venugopal instructed ET.

Maken instructed ET from Chandigarh that “the appointment of Channi ji is yet another demonstration of Rahul ji’s commitment to social empowerment of the deprived sections”.

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