Congress leader Charanjit Singh Channi took oath as the new Chief Minister of Punjab at the Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh, today. In a historic political development, Channi became the first Sikh Dalit Chief Minister of the state.
Channi, a three-time MLA from Rupnagar's Chamkaur Sahib, had earlier in the day offered prayers at a gurdwara in Rupnagar.
The oath-taking ceremony was attended by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi along with Punjab AICC in-charge Harish Rawat and state unit president Navjot Singh Sidhu. Captain Amarinder Singh, the former chief minister, however, chose not to attend.
Highlights of Channi’s first press conference after swearing-in as Punjab CM

  • Thanking the party leadership, Channi in a press conference said that Congress "has given a great honour to a common man". He also mentioned, party leader Rahul Gandhi as a “revolutionary leader.”
“Rahul Gandhi is a revolutionary leader...I am thankful to Punjab Pradesh Congress, Captain Amarinder Singh and the people of Punjab,” said Channi.
  • Mentioning his struggles as a former rickshaw puller, the new Punjab CM said, “I have been a Rickshaw puller myself... I won't let anyone hurt farming sector” adding that government will pay off the bills for farmers. “All pending bills will be paid off.”
  • CM Channi also urged the Centre to repeal agricultural laws and said his party stands firmly behind farmers protesting against the "black" farm laws.
“I will appeal Centre to repeal black laws. I fully support the farmers' struggle."

Also Read: PM Modi' congratulatory note for Punjab's new CM Charanjit Channi

  • During the media briefing, Channi also pledged to finish the sand mafia. He added that a decision regarding the same will be taken up in the cabinet today.
  • Giving his regards to former state CM, Channi said Captain Amarinder Singh did good work for Punjab and he will take it forward.
Reportedly, Amarinder Singh has invited Channi to lunch at his farmhouse. Some MLAs are also expected to attend the meeting, according to sources.

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