'Former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh only worked for 2 hours; I just rest for 2': Charanjit Channi at HTLS
Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi openly attacked former chief minister Amarinder Singh, accusing him of not working for the people of the state. Speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit (HTLS), he said there is a new system in place in the state.
“You tell me, why there was a need to change the chief minister? Our previous CM used to work only for two hours, while I am not working only for two hours. I am working for the rest of the time. He used to wake up so late, people used to ask questions. Now people ask when does he sleep? I am accessible to everyone, he wasn’t. So, things have changed. It’s the change of an era, and you will see new things. People are liking this change,” the chief minister said while speaking to Hindustan Times’ national political editor Sunetra Choudhury.
“If I have become the chief minister, should I stop the people from coming to me? I like meeting and talking to the common people, I have installed a tent in front of my house, I want them to come and meet me,” Channi added.
When asked why the decision to replace the chief minister was taken so late, Channi said, “There is a time and place for everything. Captain Amarinder Singh is not a rookie, there is a system to remove such a powerful person. You have to think how to remove such a person. He was in contact with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) even before he quit the post. I was named CM, but wasn’t sure if he will let me take oath.”
He further said that no Congress MLA left the party and joinEd Amarinder Singh, which is no mean feat.
Channi also rubbished allegations that Congress mistreated Amarinder Singh. “He got everything, was made a member of Parliament, given the post of chief minister twice. His family members became ministers. What else can the party do? Today, when the party needed him, he was not able to work. Singh had declared that he won’t contest the next election. Then why are you doing this?” said Channi.
“Captain Amarinder Singh was doing injustice to the party. Should we lock our office up? All the Congress leaders realised that he was not working properly. And he should have resigned gracefully, but it did not happen,” said Channi.
Punjab is scheduled to go for assembly polls next year. 59 seats are needed for winning a majority in the 117-seat state assembly.
In the 2017 polls, Congress won an absolute majority in the state by winning 77 seats and ousting the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP government after 10 years. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emerged as the second-largest party winning 20 seats in the 117-member assembly, becoming the principal opposition. The SAD could only manage to win 15 seats while the BJP secured three seats.