In a groundbreaking development in Punjab, Charanjit Singh Channi took oath as the Sixteenth Chief Minister of Punjab today, September 20. He was administered the oath by Governor Banwarilal Purohit. Along with Channi, two Deputy Chief Ministers Sukhjinder Randhawa and Om Prakash Sonitook the oath. Notably, Charanjit Singh Channi has become the first Dalit Chief Minister of the state. While OP Soni is the Hindu face of the party, Randhawa is the Jat face.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Punjab PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and party’s Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat, attended Charanjit Singh Channi’s swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh. The 48-year-old was earlier the Minister of Technical Educational and Industrial Training in the Punjab government.
Channi is considered as a close confidant of Sidhu.
Channi, 49, becomes chief minister with less than six months to go before the assembly polls in Punjab.
The move to appoint Channi, who belongs to the Ramdasia Sikh (Chamar) community, the next chief minister assumes significance as the assembly elections will be held in Punjab next year. An estimated 30 per cent of the state’s population, counting both Sikhs and Hindus, is from that community.
The opposition BJP had earlier announced that if voted to power in Punjab, it will make a Dalit the chief minister, while the Shiromani Akali Dal had said that its deputy CM would be from that community.