The City Headlines
Ludhiana, September 20
Charanjit Singh Channi is the new Chief Minister of Punjab. The state gets its first Dalit Chief Minister today. 58-year-old Channi is the outgoing Technical Education Minister and is a three-time MLA from Chamkaur Sahib constituency in the Rupnagar district.
Several senior politicians from Congress like Navjot Singh Sidhu, Sunil Jakhar, Sukhjinder Randhawa and Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa were in the race to become CM. About 5:30 pm in the evening on September 19, Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat took to Twitter and wrote, “It gives me immense pleasure to announce that Sh. #CharanjitSinghChanni has been unanimously elected as the Congress Legislature Party of Punjab.”
Charanjit Singh Channi belongs to the Ramdasia Sikh community and a lower-middle-class family of village Makrona Kalan in Chamkaur. Later, his family shifted to Malaysia to look for work. However, they returned and started a tent house in Kharar.
Channi is a law graduate from Panjab University, Chandigarh. Also, he has completed his MBA from Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar. He has also completed a master’s degree in political science. Now, he is pursuing his PhD.
He started his political journey in Kharar from Municipal elections. For three terms, he has been a municipal councillor and for two terms, he remained president of the Municipal Council.
In the year 2007, he first became an independent MLA when he was denied a ticket from Congress. For a short period of time, Channi was also a part of Shiromani Akali Dal. In the year 2012, he joined the Indian National Congress and won again. In 2017 also, he became MLA from Chamkaur Sahib constituency. He has been holding portfolios like Technical Education, Employment Generation, Industrial Training, and Tourism and Cultural Affairs.
Charanjit Singh Channi was also one of the MLAs who put pressure on the party high command for a leadership change during Captain Amarinder Singh’s tenure.
A #MeToo case against Charanjit Singh Channi is also pending. In the year 2018, Channi allegedly sent an inappropriate text to a woman IAS officer. Though Channi has said that the case had been resolved, however, in May this year, the case resurfaced as Punjab Women’s Commission sent notice to the state government seeking a response.