Charanjit Singh Channi took oath as the 16th Chief Minister of Punjab on Monday. He has become the first Sikh Dalit Chief Minister of Punjab. He was administered the oath by Governor Banwarilal Purohit. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and OP Soni were also administered the oath of office and secrecy as ministers.
They will be Deputy Chief Ministers to Charanjit Singh Channi.
While Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa was named as a Deputy Chief Minister on Sunday, five- time MLA from Amritsar Central OP Soni won the Punjab Deputy CM race against six-time MLA from Patiala Rural Brahm Mohindra after a last minute rethink by the Congress.
The swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh on Monday was attended by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat and Punjab Pradesh Congress Commitee (PPCC) chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday stepped down from the post of Punjab Chief Minister following months of infighting between him and Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. Charanjit Singh Channi's name was announced on Sunday amid the fight for power among the Jat Sikh leaders.
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Channi was first elected to the Punjab Assembly in 2007. Before that, he served as the President of the Municipal Council in Kharar for two terms. Channi was also the Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly in 2015-16. He was made a minister in the Captain Amarinder Singh government in March 2017.
Now ahead of the Punjab Assembly elections in 2022, Channi faces an uphill task of controlling incessant infighting in the Congress, which may emerge as a major challenge for the party trying to retain power in the state.
With only a few months to go for the Assembly elections in Punjab, Channi will have to work hard to prove his mettle and fulfill the 18-point to-do list of pending promises that the Congress high command had handed over to Captain Amarinder Singh three months ago.
PM Modi congratulates Channi
"Congratulations to Shri Charanjit Singh Channi Ji on being sworn-in as Punjab’s Chief Minister. Will continue to work with the Punjab government for the betterment of the people of Punjab," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.