It has been a quick climb up the slippery political ladder for two-time MLA Charanjit Channi, the new leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in Punjab.
He started his political innings after being elected a municipal councillor in 1992 and went on to become the president of the Kharar Municipal Council in 1997 and 2003. In 2007, Channi, still the council president, rebelled against the Congress after the denial of ticket from Dalit-dominated Chamkaur Sahib constituency and contested as an Independent.
After winning the seat, he first courted the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and then Manpreet Badal-led People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) before going back to the Congress fold with pomp and show in 2011 ahead of the assembly elections, earning himself the tag of a turncoat.
Re-elected in 2012, this time on the Congress ticket, he was prompt to learn the ropes and tried to get noticed through his activism inside the House he ranks among the MLAs who list the highest number of questions and “call attention” motions.
What he lacks in articulation, he makes up by his constant interventions during debates and war of words in the House.
As if that is not enough, he has been adding degrees to his profile after becoming a MLA. After completing bachelor of law and MBA, he is pursuing masters in political science in an attempt to meet the educational qualifications he thinks Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi fancies in young leaders to groom them for the future.
Though the climb up the ladder has been swift for Channi, it would not be an easy stay there as he would have to match up to his predecessor Sunil Jakhar and also garner the support and respect of party old-timers, who have been left bruised by his sharp rise.