New Captain Cool: How Charanjit Channi Has Emerged as Smooth Slayer in Punjab Crisis


The Congress disaster in Punjab that began with the removing of Captain Amarinder Singh as chief minister appears to have paused for now with an olive department to state celebration chief Navjot Singh Sidhu in type of a committee to have a look at his complaints. Throughout the saga, new Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has emerged as a relaxed and clean participant who has not exhibited indicators of being ruffled nor used any harsh phrases in opposition to Sidhu.

Channi was within the state secretariat on the afternoon of September 28, going personally from room to room to be current as the brand new ministers took cost, when Sidhu dropped the resignation bombshell by way of a tweet round 3 pm. Channi learnt of the identical however continued with the train he was doing — handing over bouquets to new ministers and serving to them to their chair.

Within half-hour, Channi held a scheduled press convention the place requested about Sidhu’s resignation, he stated he had full religion within the state unit chief and pressed that Sidhu was not upset with him. He averted any adversarial remark or outburst in opposition to Sidhu. Channi deputed ministers Pargat Singh and Raja Amrinder Warring to go to Patiala and meet Sidhu.

ALSO READ: Pargat Singh’s Emotional Plea, Snub by Cong Top Brass: Why Sidhu Decided to Meet Channi

Sources stated Channi’s concept was to let Sidhu “quiet down”, hence he avoided going to Patiala himself. The CM called up Sidhu on September 29 and asked him for a meeting. When Sidhu agreed, the CM invited him to come to Chandigarh to talk. Channi then did another press conference to say Sidhu was “the head of the family” and said he himself “had no ego and was flexible”.

Channi has politely defend the choices of acting DGP Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota and Advocate General APS Deol, though saying that the former did not give any clean chit in an SIT probe to the Badals while the latter may have represented people like former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini in his professional capacity. But with Sidhu insistent, Channi has left the call on this to the high command and the committee set up which comprises himself and Sidhu.

In order to resolve matters further, Channi has called for another cabinet meeting on October 4 where some more big decisions could be taken as part of the 18-point agenda prescribed by the Congress high command ahead of elections next year.

ALSO READ: Panel Set Up to End Deadlock Over Punjab Govt Appointees, Channi Cabinet; Sidhu Part of It

But if the DGP and AG are changed, does Channi’s statute go down as it will be seen as a snub to his authority? “The CM is only interested in implementing the agenda spelt out to him by the party high command. He does not want to be distracted… He has no ego over the appointments,” a minister close to the new CM told News18.

Channi Kept at Work Amid Crisis

In midst of the three-day long crisis, Channi kept at his work and agenda, given the government just has a 90-day period to deliver. For instance, he announced waiving off pending electricity bills of small consumers and said his government will convene a special session of the Vidhan Sabha to reject the farm laws if the Union government does not immediately repeal them.

Before this too, Channi has been sending messages through his acts to endear himself to the common man — like stopping mid-way on the road to give money as gift to a newly wedded couple, ordering a significant withdrawal of his security cover, going to a labourer’s house to give him an appointment letter and eating food there and doing impromptu bhangra with students.

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