Out of the political scene after the Congress was routed out of power in Punjab, former chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi Tuesday found himself in the middle of the political discourse with his successor Bhagwant Mann asking where he had “run away” after losing the Assembly elections.
Speaking in the Vidhan Sabha after moving the confidence motion on the opening day of the session, Mann alleged that Channi took many decisions towards the fag end of his tenure and many of them were “anti-people”. The CM said he learnt about those files after the Aam Aadmi Party formed the government.
“I want to ask Channi where he is, where he has gone after the polls. I want to ask him about the many files, which he signed in the last days of his government. There are many decisions which were anti-people. Why did he run away? Some people say he is in Canada and some say he is in America,” Mann said.
Mann also challenged the Congress to produce Channi and said the former CM should have stayed back. “It means he must have done something wrong,” Mann claimed.
In September 2021, Channi had succeeded Capt Amarinder Singh as the chief minister of Punjab following the veteran leader’s unceremonious exit.
During the 2022 Assembly polls, the Congress made him the chief ministerial candidate and he was fielded from Chamkaur Sahib and Bhadaur Assembly seats, but lost both constituencies.
Sources in the Congress had earlier told the Indian Express that after the poll rout, Channi went into a “self-imposed” political exile.
According to some leaders, he was abroad and in touch with only a select few colleagues. While he has maintained radio silence, refusing to react to most political developments, the Dalit leader made two exceptions — offering condolences after singer Sidhu Mooselwala was murdered and congratulating SAD (Amritsar)’s Simranjit Singh Mann over his victory in Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll.