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Charanjit Singh Channi to be Next Chief of Punjab, Says India's Congress Party

© Photo : Hindustan TImes (screenshot)Charanjit Singh Channi
Charanjit Singh Channi - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.09.2021
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The appointment of Charanjit Singh Channi follows the resignation of his predecessor, Amarinder Singh, who left the post of state chief on Saturday. Singh, who led India's main opposition party, Congress, to a decisive victory in 2017, winning 77 seats, was asked to stand down after months of rebellion against him by state legislators.
Charanjit Singh Channi, the former minister for Technical Education & Industrial Training in what was Amarinder Singh's cabinet, will be the new state chief of Punjab, Congress party confirmed on Sunday.
Channi's appointment was announced by Harish Rawat, former state chief of neighbouring Uttarakhand and Congress party's senior representative in the area.
However, Congress party's choice of state chief surprised many as another lawmaker, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, had been thought to be frontrunner just a couple of hours earlier.
Despite failing to become state chief, Randhawa looked satisfied with Channi's appointment.
"I am happy with high command's decision.... I want to thank all the [members of the Legislative Assembly] MLAs who have supported me. Channi is my brother," Randhawa said after Channi pipped him to the post.
The Congress-governed state of Punjab had witnessed an intense stand-off between state chief Amarinder Singh and rebel leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, who resigned from the state Cabinet two years ago after a rift with Singh.
Just a few months ago, Sidhu was appointed Congress chief in Punjab, leading to a tense situation between supporters on both sides.
Subsequently, the Sidhu-Singh war of words escalated, resulting in a rebellion among MLAs, forcing party chief Sonia Gandhi to ask for Singh's resignation. It ultimately led to Channi's appointment.
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