Charanjit Singh Channi chosen as Punjab's first Dalit CM, to take oath on Sep 20


Chandigarh, Sep 19 (IANS): In a tactical move to retain Punjab in the next Assembly elections in early 2022, the Congress on Sunday appointed Dalit leader and three consecutive term legislator Charanjit Singh Channi as the next Chief Minister, replacing veteran Amarinder Singh.

After meeting Governor Banwarilal Purohit here to stake claim to form the next government, Channi, accompanied by state party President Navjot Singh Sidhu, told the media that he would take the oath as the Chief Minister on Monday at 11 a.m.

"We have presented our stance, unanimously supported by party MLAs, before the Governor," he added.

Channi, 49, the legislator from Chamkaur Sahib, is the first Dalit Chief Minister and the youngest to be at helm in the state. He belongs to the Ramdasia community.

With his appointment, the Congress is trying to woo the Dalit vote, comprising 32 per cent, ahead of the Assembly polls slated in March 2022.

Channi, a Cabinet minister in the present government, was leading from the front to demand the removal of Amarinder Singh as the government in his helm has failed to come as per the aspirations of the people and even failed to implement the 2017 Assembly poll promises.

Outgoing Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was among the first to greet Channi when party General Secretary in charge of state Harish Rawat made the formal announcement on his appointment in the evening, ending day-long suspense over the new incumbent.

Amarinder Singh on Saturday stepped down as the Chief Minister by saying he "felt humiliated".

Earlier in the day, Cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa's name was doing rounds to the next Chief Minister.

Seemed miffed for not being chosen as the next Chief Minister, Randhawa told the media: "It's the high command's decision...I welcome it. Channi is like my younger brother...I am not at all disappointed."

"The people who get disappointed are the ones who never saw power. I have seen power since my father's time. Channi is my younger brother and I welcome the decision taken by high command," he added.

"Congratulations to Shri Charanjit Singh Channi Ji for the new responsibility. We must continue to fulfill the promises made to the people of Punjab. Their trust is of paramount importance," party leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

A day after he quit as Chief Minister after being humiliated by the party amid the Punjab Congress crisis, Amarinder Singh on Sunday expressed sorrow at having to cancel the scheduled disbursement of appointment letters to families of 150 farmers who had lost their lives in the ongoing agitation against the farm laws.

He said that with the new CM-designate already announced, he would unfortunately not be able to personally hand over job letters to the next of kin of the deceased farmers even though his council of ministers had already accorded approval to the proposal. He hoped the new Chief Minister would carry out the task at the earliest to provide relief to the affected families.

Amarinder Singh urged Channi to ensure that the state government continues to stand with the beleaguered farmers of Punjab, "who have sacrificed their lives in our collective fight for justice".

He made it clear that he would continue to support the farmers in their battle for survival and justice.

"Every Punjabi, in fact every Indian, is morally bound to stand with the farmers in their hour of despair," he said, asserting that even though he was no longer holding the state's reins, his heart remained with the farmers and their families and he would do everything in his power to ensure that they get their due.



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Comment on this article

  • Andrew, Mangalore

    Mon, Sep 20 2021

    Why we Indians still dwell on caste and religion , why can not we call our selves as Indians, as Americans are Americans, Please make a practice to call people by their Names, not by their religion or Caste, or Colour, The Chief Minister of Punjab is Charanjit Singh Channi, , not Dhalit. Make India as United States Of India,

    DisAgree [1] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Harjit Bains, CANADA

    Wed, Sep 22 2021

    YES! Every human needs and looks to live with dignity, but I extreme discrimination in India under the garb of religions. however, on the ground we have discriminated each other in this dubious hierarchies, division among humans. no Indian faith could escape it despite of many reformers appeared in history.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Shivraj, MANGALORE

    Mon, Sep 20 2021


    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Santan Mascarenhas, Kinnigoli/Bangalore

    Mon, Sep 20 2021

    Reply to Vivek, Mangalore.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • real kujuma, kodial

    Mon, Sep 20 2021

    this selection has stumped the chaddis..superb decision..only in Congress Dalits and minorities get the highest recognition...Jai Nehru....Jai Indira...Jai Rajiv...Jai Sonia...Jai Rahul..Jai Priyanka...

    DisAgree [16] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • John Tauro, M'lore

    Mon, Sep 20 2021

    So called secular party selecting on the basis on caste and creed is amazing. This Chani got in because of Ambika Son's exit. Being senior most lady in the party she turned down the offer merely on religious grounds. This is something unexpected from Congress which had actually turned sickular since the late 1990s.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Santan Mascarenhas, Kinnigoli/Bangalore

    Mon, Sep 20 2021

    Yes, I too had that feeling. Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, says all are equal and there is no caste in Sikhism. However, still some people believe, owing to their occupation or sect, they are higher or lower in caste, since their origin is from Hinduism. The Dalit convert to Christianity is called Dalit Christian, though there is no caste system in the religion. Even, in the Bombay Diocesan Examiner Weekly, I saw recently a matrimonial advertisement where a girl wrote "A Goan Brahmin RC girl wants a proposal". That means, her ancestors were Brahmins. You might have seen so many of our RCs writing Prabhu, Shenoy and Kamath after their name. The former head of Law Department of Bombay University, Dr. George Thomas Lewis, a Mangalorean from Belman (Ph.D in law from London University) was writing his name as Dr. GTL Shenoy.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Langoolacharya., Belman / Washington, DC.

    Mon, Sep 20 2021

    Santan, You are correct, George was from Belman and was my immediate neighbor....his one sister was Children's Specialist in Udupi Mission Hospital and a brother was a Doctor in Kuwait hospital in Radiology Department... Youngest brother did Engineering from MCE Hassan... Very simple and down to earth people... ...Tak...Takk...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Germany

    Mon, Sep 20 2021

    Santhan M .Kinnigoli,Just want to clarify about your said marraige advt.In Goa still they are particular about their grade.She must be from previous Portugiese family tradition.They do continue their Surnames fort.They speak portugiese at home .Since I was there for some years living I know it.There are working class people like our Dalits .They are called Ghanti.They mostly workers ,in mines or in fields.Previously were not allowed to sit in churches with class brahmins on banks.Had to sit down .they had their own chapels .First priest from these people was only after freedom from too was not.As we went to Goa was schocked to see the condition there in Hospital .Why Goa even in mangalore some familys are particular to have girl from Bamun,like brahmins,but not give girl to such things exist still.thank God rare.I even saw when Gantis dont do as their landowner said ,were slapping .(In 70S)

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  • Observer, Mangalore

    Mon, Sep 20 2021

    Turbaned Dalit Sikh, whose ancestors were converted hindu chamars due to caste distinctions.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anil Shenoy, Mangalore

    Mon, Sep 20 2021

    Sikh community also has lower caste ? Racism

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vivek, Mangaluru

    Sun, Sep 19 2021

    Until now i did'nt know that there is caste system in Sikhism. I thought all sikhs are same.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [32] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Germany.

    Mon, Sep 20 2021

    Vivek mangalore ,I too was thinking the same.whoever ,Dalit or Brahmin,he should be a efficient ,capable person to continue the tradition of Party ,idiology .not drag to downpath.Onething I would like to say,why each time one should point out a Dalit etc.Are we not everyone humans same?LEt it be please.welcome to new CM.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • RSRB, Kundapura

    Mon, Sep 20 2021

    Vivek, Mangaluru... Caste is there everywhere. It is there in Muslims and Christians also. Only Hindus are trying to rectify it officially, that is why they are being blamed.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joel, Mangalore

    Mon, Sep 20 2021

    Christianity doesn't have any caste. Its often people who after getting conversion still carry the caste with them. So there are Brahmin Christians, dalit Christians and so on.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jeevan, Kudlaa

    Sun, Sep 19 2021

    Me too hero CM of Punjab

    DisAgree [9] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Thane

    Sun, Sep 19 2021

    Dalit's & Minorities with Transform India ...

    DisAgree [21] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • R Bhandarkar, Mangaluru

    Sun, Sep 19 2021

    The Congress has finally dragged out a ' Channi' a squirrel in Konkani parlance from the shrubs and bushes of Punjab as it's leader ! A squirrel only squeaks right? If it were just to pull out a Squirrel why this melodrama? Some 5 names were doing the round and at that Channi was busy eating nuts in the trees somewhere. Amrinder thundered about the full time comedian aspiring to be the CM as an antinational and that set the cat among the pigeons... That fellow was ruled out and Sukhjinders name came to the fore. Comedian objected and the ' Channi Compromise ' followed ! Arminder won't take this lying down. The Congress has shot itself in it's foot and other place where it hurts most. It will feel the pain in the days to come. Watch out....

    DisAgree [17] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shivkumar, Mangalore

    Sun, Sep 19 2021

    All drama / bickering could have been avoided Amarinder outgoing CM only issue was not to make Siddhu CM .. Strange ways congress knows best ..

    DisAgree [2] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Preetham, Farangipet

    Sun, Sep 19 2021

    He's young. BA, LLB, MBA. In this age of Fekuism, hard to find such genuinely educated politicians.

    DisAgree [21] Agree [30] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rishna, Udupi

    Mon, Sep 20 2021

    Also expert in sending whatsapp MSG

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • G R PRABHUJI, Mangalore

    Sun, Sep 19 2021

    CONGRATULATIONS to Channi singhji, but AAP will sweep the election this time.

    DisAgree [29] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • J P James, Puchhal

    Sun, Sep 19 2021

    I think congress makes a mistake it’s better to keep him till the election but I don’t think so Next CM will be soft spoken Mr Prakash

    DisAgree [6] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • SB, Mlore

    Sun, Sep 19 2021

    What happened to the # Metoo case against him ? Internally resolved like out Jarakiholi .

    DisAgree [9] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse


    Sun, Sep 19 2021


    DisAgree [10] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • mohan prabhu, mangalore/canada

    Sun, Sep 19 2021

    There is no real democracy in the states, nor federalism, when there the party's central command calls the shots, and the chief ministers become puppets of the party's high command. It shows that people are not voting for their representative as he or she is expendable like a musical chair It is an indirect rule by the party.

    DisAgree [11] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • SB, Mlore

    Sun, Sep 19 2021

    In todays electoral Politics, High Command does not digest anyone growing bigger than the party in respective states. All who tired to grow bigger than their shoe had a show down with their part starting from Devraj Aras, Pranabda, Sharadh Pawar, Bangarappa, SMK, MMS, YSR Reddi, Mamta etc. Some of them managed to carve their own path, its a different story.

    DisAgree [8] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prakash, Mangaladevi, Mangalore

    Sun, Sep 19 2021

    Yes, best examples are recent changes (1) Gujarat (2) Karnataka

    DisAgree [13] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Charanjit Singh Channi chosen as Punjab's first Dalit CM, to take oath on Sep 20

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