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Charanjit Singh swearing-in Live Updates: Will protect farmers, waive off power bills, says Channi after taking over as CM

Charanjit Singh Channi Swearing-in LIVE Updates: 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.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 20, 2021 10:38:06 pm
Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit congratulates newly-appointed CM Charanjit Singh Channi in presence of Rahul Gandhi and Navjot Singh Sidhu. (Source: PRO)

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.

Live Blog

Punjab CM swearing-in Live Updates: Charanjit Singh Channi takes charge as Punjab Chief Minister, Sukhjinder Randhawa and OP Soni as Deputy CMs; Follow latest developments here

22:38 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Explained: 5 challenges before the new Punjab chief minister

Charanjit Singh Channi, the man who has grown from the ranks and is known for his native wisdom, becomes the Punjab chief minister at a time when the ruling Congress is ridden with factionalism, faces anger on the street, and has barely four months to get its act together before the state goes to polls. His work is cut out. Read our explainer on the five big challenges that stare at the new CM.

22:24 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Caste politics takes centre stage ahead of 2022 assembly elections

Ahead of the 2022 assembly elections, caste politics has taken the centre stage with Dalit leader Charanjit Singh Channi taking oath as the Punjab chief minister, a move considered significant not just for this state but for others as well.

The Congress with its nomination of the first chief minister from the Scheduled Caste community in any north Indian state is seeking to dictate the political narrative with leaders across parties coming out to welcome the appointment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BSP supremo Mayawati, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, and AAP leader Bhagwant Mann congratulated Channi on his appointment, even as the BJP and the BSP warned the Congress against making it a mere political gimmick to get Dalit votes.

The Congress got the first taste of the challenge of projecting a Dalit CM early this morning from within when its former Punjab unit chief Sunil Jakhar questioned AICC general Secretary Harish Rawat's remarks that 2022 Punjab polls would be fought under state chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. (PTI)

22:10 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Free water, smaller power bills: Channi takes charge as CM in poll-bound Punjab

Punjab's first Dalit chief minister, 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 aadmo” 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. (PTI)

22:08 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Oppn AAP, SAD congratulate new Punjab CM, hope Cong's poll promises are fulfilled

Opposition AAP and SAD on Monday congratulated Congress leader Charanjit Singh Channi on taking oath as Punjab Chief Minister and hoped that the ruling party will fulfil its poll promises.

Congratulating Channi, senior Aam Aadmi Party leader Harpal Singh Cheema hoped that he will fulfil all the Congress' poll promises made before the 2017 assembly elections.

Cheema, who is also the Leader of Opposition, expressed hope that Chief Minister Channi will take action in the alleged multi-crore post-matric SC scholarship scam.

He alleged that the Congress had made tall promises to various sections of the society before the previous assembly polls but failed to fulfil them.

“The Congress party itself has admitted that Capt Amarinder has been a flop and that is why he was removed from the post of chief minister. Congress will have to fulfil its promises as the people of Punjab cannot be misled by merely changing the face,” he said. (PTI)

19:40 (IST)20 Sep 2021
An Expert Explains: Is appointing Channi, a Dalit, the CM the Congress’ masterstroke in Punjab?

After the resignation of Captain Amarinder Singh as Chief Minister of Punjab, the Congress on Sunday (September 19) chose Charanjit Singh Channi over various other leaders as the first Dalit Chief Minister of the state.

It is claimed that Channi was the unanimous choice of the party — which may be true, but it still cannot be denied that he was picked as Punjab’s first Dalit Chief Minister with an eye on the sizeable Dalit vote in the state.

But appointing Channi, a Dalit, the CM a masterstroke by Congress? Read our explainer here

18:58 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Deputy CM OP Soni: Hindu face, Capt loyalist, took on Sidhu in LS polls

One of the senior-most leaders in Congress, Om Parkash Soni, who Monday took oath as one of two deputy chief ministers, is considered a loyalist of former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh. Soni, who has not lost any Assembly election since his maiden win from Amritsar West in 1997, currently represents Amritsar Central in the Vidhan Sabha.

By appointing him as one of the two deputies to Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, the Congress has tried to maintain the cast balance ahead of the 2022 assembly election. While Channi is a Dalit, Soni is a Hindu face. The other deputy CM, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, is a Jat Sikh. Channi is from politically influential Malwa region of state while Randhawa and Soni are from the Majha region. Read more

17:27 (IST)20 Sep 2021
NCW chief seeks Punjab CM's resignation over #MeToo allegations

National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma has sought the resignation of newly-appointed Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi over the "#MeToo allegations" levelled against him.

In a statement, Sharma said it was "shameful" that such a person was appointed the chief minister of Punjab. "This is shameful and highly objectionable that such a person has been appointed as the CM of Punjab. We do not want another woman to go through the same experience and endure the same harassment that the IAS officer would have faced. Channi needs to be held accountable and should resign from the post of CM," she said.

Sharma said that the Punjab State Commission for Women had taken cognisance of the incident yet the state government did not take any action against him. "I am shocked and utterly disappointed to find that Charanjit Singh Channi, a MeToo accused who had allegedly sent an inappropriate text message to a female IAS officer in 2018, has been appointed as the chief minister of Punjab," Sharma said. (PTI)

17:18 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Only high command knows if new names will be inducted into cabinet, says Randhawa

“A formal cabinet meeting is scheduled for 8 pm today. Only the high command and CM know about the new names”, says Punjab Dy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on being asked if new names will be included in the state cabinet after he met with CM Charanjit Singh Channi, state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and working president Kuljit Singh Nagra. (ANI)

17:15 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Rahul Gandhi created history with move to choose Channi as CM: Sidhu

“Rahul Gandhi has created history (by making first Dalit Sikh CM in Punjab). A wonderful person has assumed the office today. He has started working on matters of public interest. All issues including electricity bill waiver will be resolved,” says Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. (PTI)

17:14 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Congress in damage control mode after Harish Rawat says Sidhu will lead party’s fight in Assembly polls

After a remark by Harish Rawat, the AICC general secretary in charge of Punjab, that the forthcoming Assembly elections will be fought under the leadership of Navjot Singh Sidhu triggered a political storm, the Congress high command stepped in on Monday to clear the air and said that both Sidhu and newly appointed Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi will fight the elections together.

AICC communication department head Randeep Surjewala, in an attempt to control the damage, said, “I just spoke to Harish Rawat some minutes ago. He told me some friends could not see his statement in the right perspective.” Read more

14:49 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Bhupesh Baghel congratulates Channi

“A person from SC caste, Charanjit Singh Channi, was made Punjab CM for the first time. I congratulate him and welcome the decision taken by high command,” says Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel. (ANI)

14:41 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Dalits should be wary of Congress’ election stunt: Mayawati on appointment of Charanjit Singh Channi as Punjab CM

As Charanjit Singh Channi took oath as Punjab’s first Dalit chief minister, BSP president Mayawati on Monday asked Dalits to be wary of the Congress’ “election stunt”.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister also claimed the Congress is rattled by the SAD-BJP alliance for the Punjab Assembly polls.

“Congress still does not have faith in Dalits. Dalits need to be very alert to their double standards. I have full faith that Dalits will not fall for this stunt,” Mayawati told reporters. Read more

13:36 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Hussan Lal announced as Principal Secy, Rahul Tewari as Special Principal Secy

Replacing Tejveer Singh, Hussan Lal has been appointed as Principal Secretary to the Punjab CM. Whereas, Rahul Tewari will replace Gurkirat Kirpal Singh as Special Principal Secretary to the CM.

13:32 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Will be the voice of people, says Channi, gets emotional in first presser

The newly-appointed CM got emotional while thanking Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Captain Amarinder Singh and all party workers and former PPCC chiefs. 

In his first address to the media as CM, Charanjit Singh Channi stated that he will be a voice of the people of the state. He said he will be a "part of farmers struggle. I will make sure they get justice."

"Party is supreme. CM is not supreme. Congress ideology will be followed," Channi added.

13:20 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Dues for last five years towards power bills to be waived off today: Channi

Charanjit Singh Channi stated that he will ensure free power supply for not just the farmers, but the poor as well. He said that any dues for last five years towards power bills will be waived off today itself.

He added that "Captain is the saviour of Punjab waters. What ever work he was unable to complete due to shortage of time will be done."

13:18 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Will make a decision on sand mafia today: Channi

Charanjit Singh Channi stated that he is a representative of the poor, and not the rich. He urged those who are engaged in sand mining and running mafias not to contact him, saying he is "not their representative."

"We will make a decision on sand mafia today itself," Channi said.

13:16 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Appeal to Centre to withdraw farm laws: Channi

Addressing the media for the first time as Chief Minister of Punjab, Charanjit Singh Channi stated that he stands with the farmers and appealed to the Centre to withdraw farm laws."I will sever my head but I won’t let any harm come to the farmers," Channi said, adding, "We have to strengthen Punjab. It is state of farmers. I appeal to the Centre to withdraw the farm laws."

12:49 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Ajayvir Jakhar resigns as chairman of state farmers body

Ajayvir Jakhar tendered his resignation as Chairman of Punjab State Farmers and Farm Workers Commission due to a change of guard in the state. He is the nephew of former PPCC president Sunil Kumar Jakhar.

12:46 (IST)20 Sep 2021
In Pics | Punjab CM Channi takes charge

PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu congratuled Charanjit Singh Channi following his oath-taking ceremony.

12:30 (IST)20 Sep 2021
Poll gimmick, Congress does not fully trust Dalits: Mayawati on Channi's appointment

Following the swearing-in of Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi, BSP supremo Mayawati told reporters Monday, "Channi's appointment as CM a few months ahead of Punjab assembly elections appears to be a poll gimmick." "It would have been better if he had been appointed as CM earlier," she was quote as saying by ANI.

While congratulating the newly-appointed CM, Mayawati said, "I have also come to know through media that the next Punjab assembly elections will be fought under the leadership of a non-Dalit. This means that Congress still does not fully trust the Dalits."

"Congress is also scared of the SAD-BSP alliance in Punjab," the BSP leader added.

Charanjit Singh Channi, PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and other Congress leaders outside Raj Bhavan Sunday. (Express photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

CM Lawyer, MBA, fighter for Dalit rights, Charanjit Singh Channi rebelled against Captain

Lawyer, management graduate, a strong voice for Dalits — Charanjit Singh Channi is a man of many parts.

Channi, who started out as a student leader, has risen through the ranks to be Punjab’s chief minister designate, and believes his strength lies in his connect with the masses.

Long before the revolt against Captain Amarinder Singh began to brew among Congress MLAs, Channi, who hails from the Ramdasia community, had been seeking a greater representation of Dalits in the Cabinet, given their large numbers in the party.

Dalit groups on Charanjit Singh Channi: Poll stunt, Congress wants our votes

“It is merely an election stunt. Channi is a Dalit as well as a Sikh. Punjab will go to the polls in another four-five months and code of conduct will be imposed 40 days before the elections. So what can the new face do? He will just say I am a new person, trying to understand things,” said Zora Singh Nasrali, president of Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union.

Tarsem Singh Sewewala, general secretary of the same union, said, “Till the time policies are not changed, a Dalit CM or a Jat Sikh CM will not make any difference. Now we will ask the newly chosen CM to chair the September 23 meeting with our Sanjha Morcha. This will be a litmus test for him and will show how caring he is about Dalits.”

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