Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday congratulated newly sworn-in Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. In a tweet, Modi said that he will continue to work with the Punjab government for the betterment of the people of the state.
"Congratulations to Shri Charanjit Singh Channi Ji on being sworn in as Punjab’s Chief Minister. Will continue to work with the Punjab government for the betterment of the people of Punjab," Modi wrote on Twitter.
Channi took was sworn in as the chief minister of Punjab Monday morning, making him the first Dalit to hold the top post in the state. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and OP Soni also took oath and will be designated as deputy chief ministers.
Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit administered oath to the 58-year-old Channi at a ceremony held at the Raj Bhawan. Channi took oath in Punjabi.
The Congress on Sunday picked Channi as the next chief minister of Punjab after the resignation of Amarinder Singh. Prominent among those who were present at the oath-taking ceremony were Rahul Gandhi and Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Amarinder Singh, who resigned as chief minister two days back, was conspicuous by his absence.
Channi becomes chief minister with less than six month to go before the assembly polls in Punjab.
Amarinder Singh was nudged into quitting ostensibly over his “failure” to fulfil the promises made by the party in the 2017 assembly polls. It is not clear if the new CM will be able to accomplish the task in the time available to him, observers say.
But his appointment will allow the party to play the Dalit card in the coming elections. An estimated 30 percent of the state’s population, counting both Sikhs and Hindus, is from that community. (With PTI inputs)