Punjab Congress Crisis Highlights: Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday lauded Congress’s move to replace Amarinder Singh with Charanjit Singh Channi, who will be the first Dalit CM of Punjab. Sidhu 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 !!”
A day after Captain Amarinder Singh stepped down, Charanjit Singh Channi was chosen as the next Punjab Chief Minister. Channi, who will be the first Dalit CM of Punjab, will take oath at 11 am on Monday. “We have presented our stance, unanimously supported by party MLAs, before the Governor. Oath-taking ceremony will be held at 11 am tomorrow,” Channi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Channi was the Leader of Opposition in Vidhan Sabha during the previous SAD-BJP regime. The Chamkaur Sahib MLA was inducted as the minister in in the first Cabinet and was allotted the portfolios of Technical Education and Industrial Training, Employment Generation and Training, and Tourism and Culture Affairs. He has been vocal against Amarinder for “not paying attention” to issues raised by party leaders.
Channi had been vocal in raising the Dalit issues in the state and had recently rebelled against Amarinder. He is considered close to AICC leader Rahul Gandhi and became the choice of the Congress high command for the post after two Jat Sikhs Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu opposed the party’s move to appoint a Hindu leader Sunil Jakhar. His name was announced amid the fight for power among the Jat Sikh leaders.
On Saturday, hours before Amarinder resigned as the CM, he wrote to Congress President Sonia Gandhi expressing anguish over the political events of the last 5 months. These events, Amarinder wrote, were clearly “not based on full understanding of the national imperatives of Punjab and its key concerns.”