Charanjit Singh Channi Swearing-in Live Updates: Punjab’s first Dalit CM Charanjit Singh Channi took charge on Monday, promising free water supply to smaller homes, a reduction in power tariff and a transparent government for the “common man” in the poll-bound state. Two deputy chief ministers, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and O P Soni, were also sworn in by Governor Banwarilal Purohit at a Raj Bhavan ceremony, also attended by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
At his first press conference later, Channi, 58, teared up as he described himself as an “aam aadmi” and a poor person, while thanking the Congress high command for picking him for the post. The three-time MLA from Chamkaur Sahib recalled that he has pedalled a rickshaw and his father ran a “tent house”. Channi didn’t offer many details but the sops appear to rival those announced by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is the main opposition in Punjab.
Channi also stated he stands with the farmers and appealed to the Centre to withdraw the farm laws. “I will sever my head but I won’t let any harm come to the farmers,” Channi said. “We have to strengthen Punjab. It is a state of farmers. I appeal to the Centre to withdraw the farm laws,” he said. Channi added that electricity will be made cheaper in the state, and “any dues for last five years towards power bills will be waived off today itself.”
Following the presser, Channi met former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh.