Channi Is Congress's Punjab CM Candidate, Announces Rahul Gandhi

The announcement ends weeks of posturing by Charanjit Singh Channi and Navjot Singh Sidhu.

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New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday declared that Charanjit Singh Channi is the party’s chief ministerial candidate for Punjab’s assembly polls.

Party leader Rahul Gandhi made this announcement while addressing a virtual rally in Ludhiana, settling weeks of posturing by Channi and state unit president Navjot Singh Sidhu.

“People of Punjab said we need a CM from gareeb ghar (poor family),” said Gandhi.

The party had taken feedback from its leaders and workers, and had also sought the opinion of the public on who should be its chief ministerial candidate through an automated call system.

Punjab will vote on February 20, while the results will be announced on March 10 – along with those in four other states. The Congress is hoping to retain power in the state.

At the rally, Gandhi lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he is function not as an elected representative but a “king”.

Earlier in the day, Sidhu said he has no aspirations for any post and said he would abide by any decision that the party takes.

“We don’t need anything, we only need Punjab’s welfare. My love for Punjab always wanted its betterment,” he said.

Channi became the chief minister in September last year, after Amarinder Singh’s resignation. He is a three-time MLA from Chamkaur Sahib and is from the Dalit community.

(With PTI inputs)