Charanjit Singh Channi, a minister in the outgoing Amarinder Singh cabinet, has been selected as the next chief minister of Punjab.
Channi, 58, will be the first Dalit to hold the post in the state. His selection assumes significance as the dissension-riven Congress faces the Assembly polls in less than five months and the fact that Dalit voters comprise 32 percent of the state's electorate.
Here's a brief look at the political career and personal life of the Technical Education Minister who will succeed the Congress veteran Amarinder Singh:
- Channi is a three-time MLA who represents Punjab's Chamkaur Sahib Assembly constituency.
- Channi is a member of the Ramdasia Sikh community.
- He was named to the Amarinder Singh cabinet on 16 March 2017.
- He served as Leader of Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha from 2015 to 2016.
- He served as the Municipal Councilor for three terms and moved on to become the President of Municipal Council Kharar for two terms.
- He was elected to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha for the first time in 2007.
- He has a law degree and an MBA degree.
- There are no criminal cases against Channi.
- However, he was accused of sexual harassment by a woman IAS officer for allegedly sending an inappropriate text in 2018. But the officer did not file a complaint.
- That case resufranced in May with the Punjab Women's Commission sending notice to the state government asking for its response to the allegation.
- He completed his matriculation from Khalsa Higher Secondary School in Kharar.
- He was born on 2 April, 1972, in Makrona Kalan village near Chamkaur Sahib to S Harsa Singh and Ajmer Kaur.
As per the Punjab government website: "His father had to struggle a lot to bring his family to the level of economic security for which he had to migrate to Malaysia. He worked hard and ultimately success embraced him and his family. He returned and settled in Kharar town starting a business of a Tent House where Channi also played as a Tent boy. His father was a very generous man even in his business dealings.”
With inputs from PTI