After over an hour of a closed-door assembly, the Congress on Sunday picked incumbent Charanjit Singh Channi because the chief ministerial face of the upcoming Punjab meeting elections. Get together vice-president Rahul Gandhi made the announcement at a rally in Ludhiana amid loud cheers, saying, “The CM face of Punjab is Charanjit Singh Channi. We requested Punjab and you’ve got given us the choice. It was a tricky resolution to make. Punjab wants a frontrunner who can perceive the poor, really feel their anxiousness.”
“The entire of Congress will now work in the direction of the imaginative and prescient of reworking Punjab,” Rahul stated, inviting Channi to say just a few phrases after the announcement.
“This can be a huge battle, I’m grateful to Punjab for selecting me because the CM hopeful of the Congress. I sincerely thank the Congress excessive command and folks of Punjab for bestowing their belief in me. As you’ve got seen us work so onerous within the final 111 days to take Punjab ahead, I guarantee you to take Punjab and Punjabis on the trail of progress with new zeal and dedication,” Channi stated.
I sincerely thank the Congress Excessive Command and folks of Punjab for bestowing their belief in me. As you’ve got seen us work so onerous within the final 111 days to take Punjab ahead, I guarantee you to take Punjab and Punjabis on the trail of progress with new zeal and dedication. pic.twitter.com/7jW1rBhEkj— Charanjit S Channi (@CHARANJITCHANNI) February 6, 2022
Earlier than declaring Channi because the CM candidate, Rahul stated, “I requested him (Channi) what his father did for a dwelling. Are you aware his life? He understands poverty. Deeply so.”
He added, “Punjab is Hindustan’s defend. This state has to decide on its chief by itself. My job is to listen to and perceive your voice. I can have an opinion, however your opinion issues most. All our leaders are gems and I used to be given the powerful process of selecting considered one of them.”
The Congress, this time, determined to go together with a CM candidate with different senior leaders in Punjab insisting on it. Since AAP has picked Bhagwant Mann to be social gathering’s CM face within the state, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in addition to the BJP-led alliance haven’t made any official bulletins but. Punjab polls will probably be held in single section on February 20.
This triggered an obvious “standoff” between Channi and state unit Navjot Singh Sidhu with each staking a declare to develop into the CM face of the Congress in Punjab. However it appears that evidently Channi got here out victorious, with Gandhi asserting his identify at a rally in Ludhiana. The assembly was held between Gandhi, Channi and Sidhu.
Channi changed Captain Amarinder Singh because the chief minister in September final yr. He’s the primary Scheduled Caste CM of Punjab. He’s a three-time MLA and was additionally the chief of the opposition within the Punjab legislative meeting.
Sidhu and different senior Congress leaders like Sunil Jakhar, who introduced his retirement from “energetic politics” earlier within the day, have been additionally current. The rally was first addressed by Congress whip in Lok Sabha, Ravneet Singh Bittu whereas the closed-door assembly was on. The Congress had earlier introduced that it’ll declared the identify of the CM face at 2 pm, nevertheless it was delayed because of the discussions.
Sidhu and Jakhar addressed the rally earlier than Rahul made the announcement. Sidhu stated, “I’m grateful to Rahul Gandhi that he made me the Punjab Congress president in simply the fourth yr of my affiliation with the social gathering; my father additionally labored for this social gathering. In my 13-year affiliation of the BJP, I used to be solely used as a campaigner. I respect Rahul ji’s selections, and can proceed to take action.”
He then claimed that he had by no means sought any submit or chair and solely desires greatest for Punjab. “Rahul Gandhi is a lion, and he is not going to be indecisive. I had advised him a narrative in 2017 of how a rabbit was run over by a automotive because it couldn’t determine which option to go, however he’s a lion,” Sidhu added.
Sidhu additionally particularly requested Channi to clap and never simply smile. At this, Channi received up and embraced the Punjab Congress president. “I request Rahul Gandhi to not cut back me to a present horse. A thoroughbred, even when injured, is healthier than any present horse,” he stated, including, “each Punjabi trusts Sidhu, if I get energy to make selections, I’ll finish mafia and folks may have a great life. But when another person is made CM, I’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with them.”
Jakhar stated Rahul had made the “largest resolution” of his political profession when he made a Dalit man, named Charanjit Singh Channi, the CM of Punjab. “It’s the most historic resolution you’ve (Rahul Gandhi) made. You may be remembered for it,” he added.
The lead-up to the choice for CM face
There was hypothesis that Gandhi might announce the CM face on the Ludhiana rally. Throughout his earlier go to to Punjab on January 27, Rahul had introduced that the Congress will announce the identify of a CM candidate for the upcoming elections and a call on it is going to be taken quickly after consulting social gathering employees. Apart from taking suggestions from social gathering leaders and employees, the Congress additionally sought the opinion of the general public on who ought to or not it’s its CM face by means of an automatic name system.
For the previous a number of weeks, each Channi and Sidhu have, immediately or not directly, made a case for themselves to be declared because the social gathering’s candidate for the highest submit. Addressing a digital rally in Jalandhar final week, Rahul had stated Channi and Sidhu have assured him that whoever is chosen, the opposite will help him.
He had made the assertion after Sidhu demanded on the rally that the social gathering declare its CM face for the Punjab polls and stated he didn’t need to be a “showpiece”. Channi had then stated he was by no means after any submit and would wholeheartedly again the social gathering’s candidate for the highest submit.
(With PTI inputs)