Soon after taking on because the PPCC Chief, Navjot Singh Sidhu had marked out one Dera (a sect) to go to – the famend Sach Khand Ballan in Jalandhar, a Dera of the Ravidassia group revered by the Dalit group. In tow was 59-year-old Charanjit Singh Chhani, an in depth buddy who realised the significance of dera politics within the state.
Sidhu and Channi gel properly and have a number of widespread pursuits. An attention-grabbing facet to the political profession of Chhani is his agency perception in astrology, one thing even Sidhu is keen on. The PCC chief wished somebody `’protected’ who might be a facilitator and never a disruptor. Chhani fitted the invoice completely.
Not stunning then that Sidhu protested the title of Sukhjinder Randhawa vehemently even when it was nearly finalised. He wished his man to move the federal government. Channi, a three-time MLA from Chamkaur Sahib constituency, had performed a serious position within the ouster of Capt Amarinder Singh, brazenly making statements in opposition to the federal government. So a lot in order that he accompanied him nearly all over the place Sidhu went after his appointment.
Sidhu, who had accompanied Channi to the Raj Bhawan on Sunday and couldn’t cover the triumph that beamed on his face, tweeted: “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.”
Channi has been by Sidhu’s side from the time the former quit his berth as a minister in the Captain-led government. At the first meeting of the dissenters which was held sometime in April at a private house in Panchkula, Channi was leading from the front and came to be known as the face of the rebellion against his own chief minister.
Channi, like Sidhu, has been very critical of the government’s inaction against the sacrilege cases in 2015, has remained critical of the Badals and is someone who has questioned the power policies of the Captain-led government frequently and publicly.
Political observers say that this has been one of the biggest reasons why Randhwa’s nomination was cancelled at the last minute and Channi was chosen instead, essentially making Sidhu the de facto CM for the next five months.
With a 33 per cent Dalit population in the state and Punjab politics seen as Jat centric, observers say that the appointment of a Dalit to the topmost has given an interesting twist to state politics.
Channi will be the second Punjab chief minister from the Malwa region. Earlier, Giani Zail Singh after winning from Anandpur Sahib- Ropar assembly constituency remained chief minister from 1972 to 1977.