The 58-year-old three-time legislator from Chamkaur Sahib meeting constituency in Rupnagar district had joined the Congress in 2012 and was holding the portfolios of Technical Education, Industrial Training, Employment Generation and Tourism and Cultural Affairs within the outgoing Amarinder Singh-led cupboard.
With barely 5 months left for the meeting polls, the announcement of a Dalit face as chief minister by the Congress assumes significance as Dalits represent practically 32 % of the state’s inhabitants. The Doaba area – Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, SBS Nagar and Kapurthala districts – has the best inhabitants of Dalits.
The Shiromani Akali Dal, which has joined arms with the BSP, has already introduced that the deputy chief minister submit might be given to a Dalit if it wins the assemby polls, whereas the Aam Admi Party too is sensing a victory as its rivals stay in disarray.
Though Channi seems to be a shock selection, it may be a calculated gamble by the social gathering which is hoping that there won’t be public opposition from leaders within the faction-ridden social gathering to the naming of a Dalit for the submit and it could include the harm from the unsavoury exit of Amarinder Singh.
Channi together with three different ministers – Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria – and a piece of MLAs had final month raised a banner of revolt towards Amarinder Singh, saying they haven’t any religion in his potential to honour the unfulfilled guarantees.
He has been a vocal critic of the federal government on the problems associated to Dalits like illustration of Scheduled Caste in senior authorities posts.
His political journey started with being elected because the president of the Kharar municipal council in 2002. He first contested as an Independent in 2007 and received from Chamkaur Sahib Assembly constituency.
He joined the Congress in 2012 and was once more elected as legislator from the identical seat.
During his ministerial tenure, Channi was on the centre of a row after a lady IAS officer had accused him of sending an “inappropriate text” message in 2018.
Thereafter, the Punjab Women Commission had taken suo motu cognisance of the matter and had sought the federal government’s stand.
At that point, the then Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had requested Channi to tender an apology to the girl officer and had additionally mentioned he believed the matter had been “resolved” to her satisfaction.
But the problem once more got here to hang-out Channi in May this yr when the ladies panel chief threatened to go on a starvation strike if the state authorities did not apprise her inside per week of its stand on an “inappropriate text” message challenge.
But Sidhu’s camp had alleged that it was an try by Amarinder Singh to focus on his detractors.
In 2018, Channi once more courted controversy when he was purportedly caught on digital camera flipping a coin to resolve between two candidates for the submit of lecturer in a polytechnic institute, leaving the Amarinder Singh authorities red-faced.
A lecturer from Nabha and one other from Patiala had each needed to be posted at a authorities polytechnic institute in Patiala.
Channi had as soon as bought a street constructed exterior his official residence to have east-facing entry to his home and it was later razed by the Chandigarh administration.
He was the chief of opposition within the Punjab Assembly in the course of the earlier SAD-BJP regime.