Charanjit Singh Channi on Monday morning took oath as the 16th Chief Minister of Punjab - the first Dalit leader to be appointed to the position.
The ceremony was attended by several top leaders including Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, Punjab Congress in Charge Harish Rawat and Punjab Pradesh Congress Commitee (PPCC) Navjot Singh Sidhu. Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit also administered the oath of office to several other Congress leaders. Alongside Channi, fellow party leaders Sukhjinder S Randhawa and OP Soni took oath as new Ministers in the Punjab government.
On Sunday, after several rounds of parleys, Channi was selected for the post by the party high command, following Captain Amarinder Singh's resignation.
Amarinder Singh on Saturday submitted his resignation to state Governor Banwarilal Purohit, following months of infighting between him and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Who is Charanjit Singh Channi?
Charanjit Singh Channi is a three-time MLA from Rupnagar's Chamkaur Sahib and now Punjab's first Dalit Chief Minister. He has served as Technical Education Minister in the Captain Amarinder Singh government.
According to the official website of the Punjab Government, Channi remained Municipal Councilor for three terms and moved on to become the President of Municipal Council Kharar for a two-term.
He was elected to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha from Chamkaur Sahib Consistency for the first time in 2007. He was elected to the assembly seat again in 2012 and then in 2017. In 2015, Channi was elected as Leader of the Opposition in the 14th Punjab Vidhan Sabha.
In 2017, he was appointed as the Cabinet Minister for Technical Education and Industrial Training, Employment Generation and also Science and Technology in the government of Punjab.
Why is his appointment significant?
Charanjit Singh Channi's appointment as Punjab CM will help the party woo the Dalit population in the upcoming elections. An estimated 30 per cent of the state's population- both Sikhs and Hindus, are from the Dalit community.