Charanjit Singh sworn as Punjab Chief Minister; Amarinder Singh boycotts swearing-in ceremony
Charanjit Singh Channi has been sworn in as the 16th Chief Minister of Punjab. Purohit was administered the oath of office by Governor Banwarilal. Former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was also invited to the swearing-in ceremony. However, Amarinder Singh boycotted the function in protest.
There was also a last-minute twist in the Deputy Chief Minister’s term. Omprakash Soni has been sworn in as one of the Deputy Chief Ministers. AICC leaders tweeted that Brahmin Mohindra would be the Deputy Chief Minister.
The announcement of the Chief Minister marked a dramatic turning point in Punjab. Despite the support and interest of the High Command in favor of former minister Sukhjinder Singh, Sidhu’s intervention shortly before the announcement changed things. Sidhu argued that if Charan Jeet Singh Channi, a Dalit Sikh, became the Chief Minister, the 35 per cent Dalit vote would be in favor. The decision was then reversed by the High Command. Channi, who sided with Amarinder Singh, joined Sidhu in the coup. There are indications that Sidhu, who is hoping to become the next Chief Minister, is likely to field Channi, who is not a former leader.
BSP chief Mayawati has come out against the Congress in electing Charanjit Singh as Punjab Chief Minister. Mayawati criticized the Congress for its “election strategy”. The Congress will not face Chennai in the next elections. Mayawati said this was proof that the Congress was not ready to trust the dalits.
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