As 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 !!”
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 stateand 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.
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
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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