- Charanjit Singh Channi takes over as Chief Minister of Punjab
- Amarinder did not attend the swearing-in ceremony.
- Rahul Gandhi took the oath.
Despite being invited to the swearing-in ceremony, Amarinder stayed away. Charanjit Singh Chan was sworn in by Governor Banwarilal Purohit. There was a last minute twist in the Prime Minister’s decision and in the Chief Deputy Minister’s announcement. AICC leaders tweeted that Brahmin Mohindra would be the senior deputy minister, but Omprakash Soni was elected senior deputy minister at the last minute.
With the Assembly elections only months away and pressure from Captain Amarinder Singh, the outgoing prime minister, it will be a challenge for Channi. Channi, who was Minister of Technical Education in Amarinder Singh’s resigned cabinet, is Punjab’s chief prime minister of the Dalit community. Channi is one of the senior leaders who demanded the removal of Amarinder from the post of Chief Minister and a close confidant of Sidhu. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa’s name came up as discussions progressed over who would be Amarinder’s successor. But Sidhu’s opposition led to a change in decision.
In Punjab, the state with the largest Dalit population in the country, the ruler Shiromani Akali Dal has reserved 20 seats for the BSP in the Assembly elections targeting Dalit votes. The Akali Dal had previously stated that he would cede the post of Senior Deputy Minister to the Dalits. In view of these movements, Sidhu lobbied the High Command to make Charanjit Singh Chan the main Dalit Prime Minister of Punjab. According to national media reports, the High Command decided to appoint Charanjit Singh Channi as Chief Minister after pressure from Sidhu.
With Charanjit Singh Channi becoming the Chief Minister of Punjab, Sidhu has to present to the High Command the possibility that 35% of Dalits vote in favor of the state. The High Command supported Sidhu’s position. In Punjab, Congress also plans to discuss the appointment of a Dalit prime minister in the Uttar Pradesh elections. In addition to Kerala, the High Command is also intervening strongly in Punjab. Amarinder is reported to have sent a letter to Sonia Gandhi, Acting President of Congress, after the party was isolated. The national leadership is taking care not to escalate the explosions in the party following the resignation of Amarinder Singh.
Married to a Plus Two student in Malappuram