Channi, who met Governor Banwarilal Purohit to stake his claim for the top job in the poll-bound state soon after being elected as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party, will be the state’s first Dalit CM. He is set to be sworn in on Monday morning.
The party settled on the technical education minister in the outgoing Amarinder Singh cabinet after a flurry of consultations through the day, following an abrupt cancellation of an 11 am meeting of the CLP.
“It gives me immense pleasure to announce that Sh. #CharanjitSinghChanni has been unanimously elected as the Leader of the Congress Legislature Party of Punjab,” AICC general secretary Harish Rawat said.
Channi, 58, becomes Chief Minister with less than six month to go before the assembly polls in Punjab. His appointment will allow the party to play the Dalit card in the coming elections. An estimated 30 per cent of the state’s population, counting both Sikhs and Hindus, is from that community.