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Charanjit Singh Channi designated as new CM of Punjab

Charanjit Singh Channi

In a massive tale of twists and turns and a weekend full of soaring political temperatures in Punjab, finally, the state gets its new Chief Minister in Charanjit Singh Channi. The 49-year-old MLA will be taking the oath today.

Harish Rawat, former Uttarakhand CM, and Congress in-charge of poll-bound Punjab, on Sunday evening, announced that Charanjit Singh Channi will be the new Chief Minister of Punjab after former CM Captain Amarinder Singh, on Saturday tendered his resignation to the new Governor of Punjab, Banwarilal Purohit.

Channi, the new CM designate, who belongs to Ramdasia Sikh Community, will be the first Dalit Sikh leader to become the Chief Minister of the Northern State of Punjab. A 3-time Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Chamkaur Sahib Assembly Constituency in Rupnagar District, Channi was the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Punjab Assembly from 2015 to 2016 during the previous SAD-BJP government. Channi has also been a staunch critic of former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and was one among the four cabinet ministers who protested against Captain. The new CM-designate had time and again criticized Captain for not doing his work sincerely and not paying any heed to the decisions taken by the Congress party. Channi even went to Dehradun and met Harish Rawat last month.

These developments come after Captain Amarinder Singh submitted his resignation letter to the Governor on Saturday. The former CM, after resigning, gave a slew of interviews to all the major TV channels. He attacked PPCC Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu aggressively. Captain even said “I feel humiliated but I won’t budge down, I am a soldier and I will fight back. He targeted Sidhu by alleging he has close ties with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Army, and even said Sidhu could be a threat to Punjab and National Security. As per sources, he was likely to resign as he has been miffed with the Congress High Command on how they have promoted Navjot Singh Sidhu and sidelined him. However, Captain has not commented anything on his future prospects in the grand old party except saying “I will discuss everything with my friends, colleagues, and well-wishers and will come to a decision after that.”

Soon after Captain’s resignation, Congress was in a hurdle. Harish Rawat and Ajay Maken, after the CLP meeting on Saturday, said Congress High Command will take the decision on a new CM face. On Sunday afternoon, speculations were that Sukjinder Singh Randhawa will the new Chief Minister but in the early hours of the evening, it was decided that Charanjit Singh Channi, a 49-year-old MLA will be the new CM. This move is seen as a smart attempt to balance the caste equation of the state by making Sidhu, a Jat Sikh, PPCC President as well as catering to the Dalit Community by promoting Channi as the Head of the State.”

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