Chamkaur Sahib MLA Charanjit Singh Channi was chosen as the next chief minister of Punjab, following drama that went down on Sunday, 19 September.
While congratulations poured in from Congress leaders, Shiromani Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has raked up #MeToo allegations against Channi.
BJP's IT Cell chief Amit Malviya said in a tweet, "Congress’s CM pick Charanjit Channi faces action in a 3-year-old #MeToo case. He had allegedly sent an inappropriate text to a woman IAS officer in 2018. It was covered up but the case resurfaced when Punjab Women's Commission sent notice. Well done, Rahul."
NCW Slams Channi's Appointment
National Commission for Women Chairperson Rekha Sharma, speaking to news agency ANI, said that it is a threat to women's safety as Congress has made Channi the Chief Minister of Punjab.
"Allegations were levelled against him during the #metoo movement in 2018. The State Women Commission had taken a suo moto cognizance of the matter and the chairperson sat on a dharna demanding his removal but nothing happened. Today, he has been made Punjab CM by a party that is headed by a woman. It is betrayal. He is a threat to women's safety," Sharma told ANI, adding that an inquiry should be conducted against Channi and that Sonia Gandhi should remove him from the post.
Channi will be the first Dalit chief minister of Punjab, where Scheduled Castes account for 31.9 percent of the population, the highest in the country. Moreover, he is the only Dalit CM in the country.
The swearing-in ceremony of Punjab CM-designate Charanjit Singh Channi is scheduled to take place on Monday, 20 September at 11 am, Channi had informed the press in Chandigarh on Sunday, after meeting the Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit.
Leaders Congratulate New Punjab Chief Minister
Meanwhile, a statement issued by AAP on Sunday said, “The AAP hopes that Charanjit Singh Channi will fulfill all the promises made by the Congress in 2017 during his four-five-month tenure, as the ruling Congress has not been able to deliver on a single promise in the last four-and-a-half years."
In the past few months, Channi has been one of the most vocal critics of Captain Amarinder Singh. Moreover, Captain's critics like Sukhjinder Randhawa, Tript Rajinder Bajwa, Sukhbinder Sarkaria and others accused the then CM of reviving an old case against Channi to harass him. Sidhu, too, has supported Channi.