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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Punjab Congress crisis highlights: State to get first Dalit CM in Charanjit Singh Channi; Sidhu lauds move

Punjab Congress Crisis Highlights, CM Amarinder Singh Resignation Live News: Charanjit Singh Channi will take oath at 11 am on Monday.

By: Express Web Desk | Chandigarh |
Updated: September 20, 2021 8:55:52 am
Charanjeet Singh ChanniAs Charanjit Singh Channi become CM the SC population of state have become active, staging dharnas and sending out their demands to the new dispensation.(file photo)

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.”

Live Blog

Punjab Congress Crisis Live News: Charanjit Singh Channi announced as the next Punjab CM. He is the first Dalit leader to be selected as chief minister. Follow this space for Live Updates

22:45 (IST)19 Sep 2021
Pushed out of race for top post, Jakhar declines to be a deputy CM

With Congress making it clear that they may appoint two deputies for Punjab chief minister-designate Charanjit Singh Channi, at least one of the leaders party reached out to for the post declined the offer.

Former state Congress chief Sunil Kumar Jakhar, who was in the reckoning for chief minister’s post, Sunday refused to be appointed as a deputy CM.

A Congress central observer had called up Jakhar even before party announced Channi’s name successor for Capt Amarinder Singh who had resigned on Saturday. Jakhar refused to accept the offer. Later, another senior leader from Delhi called him with the same offer, but Jakhar did not budge from his stand. Read more

22:37 (IST)19 Sep 2021
Congress leaders hail appointment of Dalit leader Channi as Punjab CM

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "The Congress creates a new history by appointing Punjab's first Dalit CM in Sardar Charanjit Channi."

"Let times record that this decision will singularly fortify social justice and open new doors of empowerment for our Dalit, Backward and disadvantaged brothers and sisters across India," he said on Twitter.

Congress chief whip in Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore congratulated Channi. "May you continue to serve the people of Punjab with dedication and integrity and champion the ideologies of the Congress. New Chapter begins. He will be the only Dalit CM of the country after taking oath. There are BJP government in 12 states, not a single Dalit CM has been made," he said on Twitter.

He thanked Congress President Sonia Gandhiji and his leader Rahul Gandhi for giving the voice to the last row.

The Congress SC department hailed Channi's appointment and said Punjab -- the state with the highest Dalit population -- will see its first Dalit chief minister. (PTI)

22:29 (IST)19 Sep 2021
Congress named Dalit CM for Punjab with an eye on 2022 polls: PKMU leader

The decision of the Congress to appoint Charanjit Singh Channi as the new chief minister of Punjab has drawn tepid response from Dalit organisations in the state. Notably, Channi is set to become the first chief minister from the Dalit community in Punjab, where 31.9% of the population hails from the Dalit community.

“It is a mere pre-election stunt and the Congress is trying to cash in on the fact that Channi is both a Dalit and a Sikh face. Punjab will go to the polls in another four to five months and the code of conduct will be imposed at least a month prior to the election. So, the new chief minister does not have much time on his hands,” Zora Singh Nasrali, the president of Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union (PKMU), said. Read more

21:27 (IST)19 Sep 2021
'Will be written with Golden letters in History': Sidhu lauds move to choose Channi, Punjab's first Dalit CM

Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu 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 !!”

21:17 (IST)19 Sep 2021
Explained: Why Sunil Jakhar’s Gordian knot analogy for Punjab Cong woes says more than it means

Sunil Jakhar is a seasoned and straight-talking politician. The 67-year-old former Punjab Congress chief is also known to weigh his words, choosing them carefully. So, when he made a cryptic tweet on Saturday about Rahul Gandhi finding an “Alexandrian solution” to the “Gordian knot” into which the Punjab Congress crisis had transformed, it made political experts sit up and take note. The experts believe there’s lot to read between the lines in the tweet Jakhar made. Read explained by Anju Agnihotri Chaba

20:56 (IST)19 Sep 2021
By announcing Channi as next Punjab CM, Congress plays a Dalit card

By announcing Charanjit Singh Channi as the next Chief Minister of Punjab, the Congress has played a Dalit card in the state.

The Opposition parties in Punjab have been trying to woo the Dalits in the state having an SC population of 32 per cent as per the last census. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has already announced that their Deputy Chief Minister would be a Dalit while the BJP has declared that their Chief Minister would be from the same community.

The SAD has allied with BSP to woo the Dalits who are considered a vote bank of Mayawati’s party. Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal had also announced that if AAP wins Punjab, a Dalit would be the Deputy Chief Minister. Read more

20:54 (IST)19 Sep 2021
Explained: Five reasons why Congress chose Charanjit Singh Channi as the next Punjab CM

The faction-ridden Punjab Congress delivered a huge surprise when it chose Charanjit Singh Channi, 48, the minister of technical educational and industrial training, to be the next chief minister.

Channi will also be the first Dalit CM of a state where this post had become the monopoly of Jat Sikhs.

We bring you the reasons why Channi was chosen by the Congress as Captain Amarinder Singh’s successor. Read explained copy by Manraj Grewal Sharma

20:20 (IST)19 Sep 2021
BJP takes swipe at Congress over decision to choose Channi as next CM

The BJP on Sunday took a swipe at the Congress over its Punjab chief ministerial pick Charanjit Singh Channi, citing reported allegations that he had sent an inappropriate text to an IAS officer in 2018.

BJP leader Amit Malviya, who is its IT department head, tweeted, "Congress's CM pick Charanjit Channi faces action in a 3-year-old MeToo case. He had allegedly sent an inappropriate text to a woman IAS officer in 2018. It was covered up but the case resurfaced when Punjab Women's Commission sent notice. Well done, Rahul."

The issue had resurfaced in May this year when Punjab women panel chief threatened to go on a hunger strike if the state government failed to apprise her within a week of its stand on the “inappropriate text” message allegedly sent by Channi, who was then a minister in the Amarinder Singh government.

Punjab Women Commission chairperson Manisha Gulati had said she had written to the chief secretary seeking the government's action taken report.

Malviya also posted a story reported in May this year that said that outgoing chief minister Amarinder Singh's rivals within the party had accused him of "hounding" them with old cases. (PTI)

20:02 (IST)19 Sep 2021
AAP congratulates Charanjit Singh Channi

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has congratulated Charanjit Singh Channi, the new Chief Minister of Punjab, in a statement issued from the party headquarters on Sunday.

“AAP hopes that Charanjit Singh Channi will fulfil all the promises made by the Congress in 2017 during his four to five-month tenure, as the ruling Congress has not been able to deliver on a single promise in the last four and a half years,” the statement said. Read more

19:31 (IST)19 Sep 2021
Rahul Gandhi congratulates Channi

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi congratulated Charanjit Singh Channi after he was chosen as the next Punjab CM. Gandhi tweeted, “Congratulations to Shri Charanjit Singh Channi Ji for the new responsibility. We must continue to fulfill the promises made to the people of Punjab. Their trust is of paramount importance.”

19:20 (IST)19 Sep 2021
Oath-taking ceremony to be held at 11 am tomorrow, says Channi

“We have presented our stance, unanimously supported by party MLAs, before the Governor. The oath-taking ceremony will take place at 11 am tomorrow,” says Punjab CM-designate Charanjit Singh Channi.

19:04 (IST)19 Sep 2021
BJP asks Sonia Gandhi to come clean on Sidhu

The BJP on Sunday sought clarification from Congress president Sonia Gandhi over former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh’s remarks terming Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu an “anti-national”.

BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh said that Captain Amarinder Singh described Sidhu as a “man having close links with Pakistan”. Read more

19:00 (IST)19 Sep 2021
Hope Channi can keep Punjab safe from security threats: Captain Amarinder Singh

Minutes after Charanjit Singh Channi was nominated to be the leader of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP), Captain Amarinder Singh stated that he hoped that the Dalit minister will keep Punjab safe.

“My best wishes to Charanjit Singh Channi. I hope he’s able to keep the border state of Punjab safe and protect our people from the growing security threat from across the border,” Amarinder Singh was quoted as saying by Raveen Thukral, the Congress leader’s media advisor. Read more

18:55 (IST)19 Sep 2021
Channi like my younger brother...welcome decision: Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa

“It's high command's decision. I welcome it. Channi is like my younger brother...I am not at all disappointed,” says Congress leader Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa after announcement of Charanjit Singh Channi being chosen as next Punjab Chief Minister.

18:52 (IST)19 Sep 2021
Channi reaches Governor's house

Punjab CM-designate Charanjit Singh Channi reaches Governor's house, Chandigarh.

18:50 (IST)19 Sep 2021
Channi's supporters celebrate in Chandigarh

Supporters of new Punjab CM-designate Charanjit Singh Channi celebrate outside Governor's house in Chandigarh

18:37 (IST)19 Sep 2021
Who is Charanjit Singh Channi, the man all set to be next Punjab CM?

A grassroots-level leader, Channi had won local bodies polls on a Congress ticket from Kharar in the early 2000s. He rebelled against the party nominee in the 2007 Assembly polls, and went on to contest and win as an Independent.

He then became an associate member of the Shiromani Akali Dal in the Assembly and got very close to PPP’s Manpreet Badal, who was a minister in Amarinder’s cabinet. Read more

18:20 (IST)19 Sep 2021
Charanjit Channi's family reaches Raj Bhavan

Punjab CM-designate Charanjit Singh Channi's family has reached the Punjab Raj Bhavan. 

17:50 (IST)19 Sep 2021
Charanjit Singh Channi all set to be next Punjab CM

A day after Captain Amarinder Singh stepped down, Charanjeet Singh Channi was chosen as the next Punjab Chief Minister. He will be the first Dalit CM of Punjab. Confirming the news, Harish Rawat tweeted, “It gives me immense pleasure to announce that Sh. #CharanjitSinghChanni has been unanimously elected as the Leader of the Congress Legislature Party of Punjab.”

17:36 (IST)19 Sep 2021
Will Cong take cognizance of Captain’s ‘extremely serious’ charge against Sidhu and act: BJP

Seizing on outgoing Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s charge of anti-national against state Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu, the BJP on Sunday said Singh has voiced an issue which the country had been grappling with and asked the opposition party if it will take cognizance of the allegations and take action.

Senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar termed Singh’s charges “extremely serious” and asked why Congress president Sonia Gandhi and its two other main leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have kept silent. Read more

Sources in the Congress high command said that surveys, both internal and conducted through external agencies, show that Amarinder’s popularity is on the wane. (File Photo/Express Archive)

This comes barely two days after several MLAs wrote to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, making it clear that the government cannot move ahead in this fashion, a senior All India Congress Committee (AICC) leader told The Indian Express. The letter, the party leader said, was very “strong in nature”. He said, “There was strong pressure. We could not have ignored the letter.”

Stepping in decisively in the face of “massive” pressure against Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh from a section of Congress MLAs in the state, the party high command on Friday night convened an urgent meeting of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) on Saturday.

At 11.39 pm Friday, AICC general secretary in charge of Punjab, Harish Rawat, tweeted: “The AICC has received a representation from a large number of MLAs…requesting to immediately convene a meeting of the Congress Legislative Party of Punjab. Accordingly, a meeting of CLP has been convened at 5:00 PM on 18th September at Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee office. AICC directs PPCC to facilitate this meeting.”

He also posted that all Punjab Congress MLAs are “requested to kindly attend this meeting”.

Soon after Rawat’s tweet, state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu tweeted that a CLP meeting will be convened at 5 pm Saturday. Sources said Congress leaders Ajay Maken and Harish Chaudhary would be the central party’s observers at the CLP meeting; Rawat, too, would be present, it is learnt.

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