Charanjit Singh Channi to be Congress CM face in Punjab, announces Rahul Gandhi

Published on Feb 06, 2022 04:08 PM IST

Rahul Gandhi said it was a difficult decision to pick one among a team of diamonds but the people of Punjab made it easy as they said they want a CM who belonged to a poor family. 

Charanjit Singh Channi will be the Congress CM face, Rahul Gandhi announced as Sidhu, Sunil Jakhar clapped. (Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times)
Charanjit Singh Channi will be the Congress CM face, Rahul Gandhi announced as Sidhu, Sunil Jakhar clapped. (Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times)
By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday announced incumbent chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi's name as the CM candidate for the upcoming Punjab Assembly Election 2022. It was a difficult decision but the people of Punjab made it easy as they wanted a CM who comes from a poor family, Rahul Gandhi said, after sharing anecdotes about Channi, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sunil Jakhar.

“It is a decision of Punjab. It is not my decision. I haven't decided. I asked workers, candidates, MLAs, people, the youth of Punjab..what people said has led me to my final decision,” Rahul Gandhi said adding that Congress is a party of diamonds and it is not easy to pick one among them.

Thanking Rahul Gandhi, Sidhu and Jakhar, Channi turned emotional and said he will serve Punjab with total honesty.

Full coverage of Punjab Assembly Election 2022

While all eyes were on the crucial announcement which Congress did contrary to its practice, Rahul Gandhi delayed the announcement as he recollected stories about Sidhu, Channi and Jakhar and how Congress in Punjab has a team of able leaders. 

"It is very easy to give a speech. But I have been observing our leaders deeply, how they react to a situation…Politics is not an event, it is a journey full of difficulties, Rahul Gandhi said. "Everyone has their own fight. PM Narendra Modi also has his own fight. Sidhu ji, Channi ji, Jakhar ji all have their different fights," Rahul said.

Opening the address on Sunday, Sunil Jakhar, who was apparently miffed with the Congress high command, heaped praises on Rahul Gandhi and said making Charanjit Singh Channi the chief minister of Punjab following Amarinder Singh's exit was the greatest political decision that Rahul Gandhi has ever taken. 

Following Jakhar's address, Navjot Singh Sidhu took the stage and using his usual strain of 'thoko taali', Sidhu said Rahul Gandhi is the only person who can make Charanjit Singh Channi the chief minister. "Rahul Ji, Sidhu ashiq hai Punjab da," Sidhu said adding that he will always remain a worker of the party and only a minister becomes an ex, but a worker never becomes ‘ex’. As Sidhu raised an emotional pitch during his address, Channi left his seat and hugged Sidhu. 


The Congress put up a unique show of unity as Rahul Gandhi arrived in Punjab. Sunil Jakhar drove the car for Rahul Gandhi while Charanjit Singh Channi and Navjot Singh Sidhu sat in the back. Tweeting the video of the car, the Punjab Youth Congress wrote, "This is how the United Congress will drive the Congress to victory in Punjab."

As Charanjit Singh Channi addressed, he said in his long association with politics, he always had a clean image and has always been honest.  Pledging to full cooperation, Channi said he will support whoever becomes the CM candidate in the upcoming polls. 


    A principal correspondent, Aneesha Sareen Kumar is the bureau chief at Ludhiana. She covers district administration, politics and crime.

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