Who is Punjab CM-elect Charanjit Singh Channi?
Charanjit Singh Channi was on Sunday elected as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in Punjab, which means that he will be the next chief minister of the poll-bound state, succeeding Captain Amarinder Singh, who resigned on Saturday. The news was shared by party’s Punjab in-charge, Harish Rawat, on Twitter. “It gives me immense pleasure to announce that Shri Charanjit Singh Channi has been unanimously elected as the Leader of the Congress Legislature Party,” Rawat tweeted.
Here’s what we know about the incoming Punjab chief minister:
(1.) Channi, who is fifty-eight years old, will be the first member from the state's Dalit community to hold the top post.
(2.) He is a legislator from the assembly constituency of Chamkaur Sahib in the northern state. He first won the seat in 2007, repeating the feat in the next two assembly elections, in 2012 and 2017 as well.
(3.) In the outgoing cabinet, Channi held the portfolio of technical education and industrial training. Previously, he was the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly for 11 months, from December 2015 to November 2016.
(4.) However, he is no stranger to controversy. In October 2018, at the peak of the MeToo movement, the now Punjab CM-elect was accused by a woman IAS officer of sending “inappropriate” messages to her. In May this year, Manisha Gulati, who heads the Punjab State Commission for Women, threatened to go on hunger strike if the state government did not take action in the case.
(5.) Channi is also a strong supporter of the ongoing farmers’ agitation against the three central farm laws. In July, he wrote to the police seeking cancellation of FIRs against 50 farmers for protesting against Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu.