‘Hope Channi can keep Punjab safe from security threats’: Amarinder Singh
Chandigarh, Sep 19: Congress leader Amarinder Singh extended wishes to Charanjit Singh Channi, the chief minister-designate of Punjab, a day after he stepped down from the post.
"My best wishes to Charanjit Singh Channi. I hope he's able to keep the border state of Punjab safe and protect our people from the growing security threat from across the border," he said.
The Congress picked Charanjit Singh Channi as the next chief minister of Punjab making him the first Dalit to hold the post in the state, a day after Amarinder Singh resigned following a bitter power tussle in the party. Channi, 49, will take oath at 11 am on Monday.
AICC general secretary Harish Rawat said in a tweet, "It gives me immense pleasure to announce that Sh. #CharanjitSinghChanni has been unanimously elected as the Leader of the Congress Legislature Party of Punjab." Channi's elevation, barely five months before Assembly polls, assumes significance as Punjab has nearly 32 per cent Dalit population.
The BJP had earlier announced that if voted to power in Punjab, it will make a Dalit the chief minister, while the SAD, which is fighting the coming polls in alliance with the BSP, had said that its Deputy Chief Minister would be from the Dalit community.
Channi, who is believed to have got strong backing from state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, Sunday evening met Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit and staked claim to form government.
Channi is a three-time legislator from Chamkaur Sahib assembly constituency in Rupnagar district. He was holding the portfolio of Technical Education, Industrial Training, Employment Generation, Tourism and Cultural Affairs in the outgoing Amarinder Singh-led cabinet.