Charanjit Singh Channi sworn in as Punjab CM with two Deputy CMs
Chandigarh, September 20, 2021
Congress leader Charanjit Singh Channi was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Punjab, along with two Deputy Chief Ministers, here today.
Governor Banwarilal Purohit administered the oaths of office and secrecy at a simple ceremony in Raj Bhavan to Channi, who is the first Dalit-Sikh leader to assume the office of Chief Minister in Punjab, and to Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, a Jat Sikh, and O P Soni, a Hindu leader, who will both be Deputy Chief Ministers.
All three were Ministers in the government of Amarinder Singh, who resigned as Chief Minister on Saturday as part of a Congress plan to prepare for the next Assembly elections, which are only a few months away.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu were amongst those present on the occasion. Amarinder Singh, who had said on Saturday that he had felt "humiliated" at the way in which he had been treated by the party leadership, was conspicuous by his absence.
Amarinder Singh on Sunday greeted his 58-year-old successor, by saying, "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."
Ahead of the swearing-in ceremony, Channi on Monday morning paid obeisance at Gurdwara Katalgarh Sahib at Chamkaur Sahib, his home constituency. He was accompanied by his family.
A three-time legislator from the Chamkaur Sahib assembly constituency in Rupnagar district, Channi had joined the Congress in 2012 and was holding the portfolios of Technical Education, Industrial Training, Employment Generation and Tourism and Cultural Affairs in the outgoing cabinet.
The political tussle within the party of the last few months, during which Amarinder Singh had to face challenges and jibes from Sidhu and those loyal to him, has not quite ended with the change of guard.
Former state party President Sunil Jakhar, who was in the race for the chief ministership, questioned the statement of Rawat regarding Sidhu.
"On the swearing-in day of Sh @Charnjit_channi as Chief Minister, Mr Rawat'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," he tweeted.