On Monday, even as Charanjit Singh Channi was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Punjab, a section of Twitter reared up in outrage, citing a 2018 Me Too allegation levelled against the Congress leader. As the day progressed, countless Twitter users have come forward to call for his arrest, with the hashtag 'ArrestCharanjitChanni' trending on the social media platform. National Commission for Women Chief Rekha Sharma also urged Congress President Sonia Gandhi to remove Channi from his new post until he 'came clean' about the allegations.
While some on Twitter shared unverified photos to back their call for action against Channi, others were content insisting that they "strongly supported this trend". Others still went after other newly appointed members of the Rajasthan government, dredging up old reports to level allegations.
With O P Soni being sworn in as one of the state's new deputy chief ministers, critics and BJP leaders were quick to point out that he had been linked to drug peddlers in 2014. As per a Hindustan Times article from the same year, former Punjab DGP (jails) Shashi Kant had listed Soni as one of the individuals who had allegedly been involved in 'promoting drug pedlers'. The list in question had reportedly been prepared by the intelligence wing of Punjab Police in 2007.
"In the last few days, Congress in Rajasthan passed a bill to register child marriages, giving it legitimacy and robbing young girls of their growing up years, and now has elevated a #MeToo accused as CM of Punjab. Let’s wait for Rahul Gandhi to pontificate on women empowerment," critiqued BJP spokesperson Amit Malviya.
In an interview with ANI on Monday, NCW Chief Rekha Sharma also expressed disappointment, contending that Channi had sent inappropriate text messages to a female IAS officer in 2018. She added that the accusations had been levelled in 2018, as the MeToo movement swept through the country.
"Today, he has been made Punjab Chief Minister by a party that is headed by a woman. It is betrayal. He is a threat to women safety. An enquiry should be conducted against him. If he doesn't come clean, he is not worthy to be Chief Minister," she added.