A day after Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat hinted that the party would fight the forthcoming Assembly polls under Navjot Singh Sidhu, former state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar on Monday raised objection to the statement and said the comments from Rawat were baffling. Jakhar, who was removed as Punjab Congress president to make way for Navjot Singh Sidhu in July, tweeted, “On the swearing-in day of Charanjit Channi as CM, Mr Rawats’s statement that “elections will be fought under Sidhu”, is baffling. It’s likely to undermine CM’s authority but also negate the very ‘raison d’etre’ of his selection for this position.”
It must be noted that Jakhar, was among the frontrunners for the chief ministerial post after Captain Amarinder Singh’s resignation on Saturday. Jakhar was one of the four probables, including Sidhu, Partap Singh Bajwa and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, for the chief ministerial post in Punjab.
Charanjit Singh Channi was sworn in as Chief Minister of Punjab on Monday. Governor Banwarilal Purihot also administered the oath of office to Congress leaders Sukhjinder S Randhawa and OP Soni as ministers in the state cabinet. The swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh was attended by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Punjab Congress in Charge Harish Rawat and Punjab Pradesh Congress Commitee (PPCC) Navjot Singh Sidhu.
On Sunday, Channi was unanimously elected as the Leader of the Congress Legislature Party of Punjab and is set to take over as next Chief Minister following Captain Amarinder Singh’s resignation. Channi a three-time MLA from Rupnagar’s Chamkaur Sahib – is Punjab’s first Dalit Chief Minister. He has served as Technical Education Minister in the Captain Amarinder Singh government.
According to the official website of the Punjab Government, Channi remained Municipal Councilor for three terms and moved on to become the President of Municipal Council Kharar for a two-term. He was elected to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha from Chamkaur Sahib Consistency for the first time in 2007. He was elected to the assembly seat again in 2012 and then in 2017. In 2015, Channi was elected as Leader of the Opposition in the 14th Punjab Vidhan Sabha.
In 2017, he was appointed as the Cabinet Minister for Technical Education and Industrial Training, Employment Generation and also Science and Technology in the government of Punjab. On Sunday, after several rounds of parleys, Channi was selected for the post by the party high command, following Captain Amarinder Singh’s resignation.
Amarinder Singh on Saturday submitted his resignation to state Governor Banwarilal Purohit, following months of infighting between him and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. These development came months before the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections.