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Punjab gets its first Dalit Chief Minister

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The Congress has averted the current crisis by appointing Charanjit Singh Channi as the new Chief Minister of Punjab, but will the emergence of differences within the party just before the elections affect the future of the party? Punjab Legislative Assembly’s term in March 2022 It has to end, which means there are hardly six months left before the elections in the state. Changing the chief minister of the ruling party so close to an election is not new in Indian politics, but it is often a challenging step. The Congress in Punjab was going through deep differences for the past several months. This situation reached its peak when Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had rebelled against Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in July, was made the state president by the party high command. What can Amarinder do Amarinder had expressed his displeasure only then and there was speculation that he would soon leave the post of Chief Minister. By giving him an opportunity to resign, the party has made it clear that he has no special place left in the party’s future strategy regarding Punjab. This is a turning point in Amarinder’s nearly five-decade-long political journey, but it is not being seen as the end of that journey. Singh, 79, may have been India’s oldest chief minister before his resignation, but he is in no mood to retire from politics. He himself has said that he was now feeling humiliated in the Congress party and after his resignation, now all options are open to him. There is speculation that Amarinder can now start his new party.

He has done this before. In 1984, in protest against Operation Bluestar, he resigned from the Congress party and joined the Shiromani Akali Dal. But in 1992 he also left the Akali Dal and started a new party named Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthik). Threat to Congress However, the future of this party was not bright. Along with Amarinder, his party also suffered a major defeat in the 1998 Legislative Assembly elections. After that Singh returned to the Congress and merged his party with the Congress. If he creates a new party again keeping an eye on the coming elections, then what will be his future is difficult to say right now. Amarinder is not only still an active leader, but also one of the tallest leaders in the state. Despite this, whether another party has a place in the politics of the state, it is a big question.

Punjab, which had been swinging between the Congress and the Akali Dal for decades, found a third option in 2014 in the form of the Aam Aadmi Party. Aam Aadmi Party performed well in the 2017 Vidhan Sabha elections and became the main opposition party in the Legislative Assembly. The party is preparing to gain power by performing even better in the next elections. In such a situation, it will be a difficult task for a new party to prepare the ground for itself in such a short time. Yes, Amarinder can definitely do the work of cutting some votes that the Congress gets in the elections. In such a situation, his resignation may harm the Congress. Expectations from Channi The entire events of 19 September made it clear that Charanjit Singh Channi was not the first choice of Congress for the post of Chief Minister. In such a situation, the differences within the party came to the fore more openly. Apart from this, Channi has been embroiled in many controversies in the East, about which many leaders inside and outside the party have started reminding the public. A major controversy erupted in 2018 when he was accused of sending obscene SMS to a woman IAS officer.

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Action was demanded against him for several days in the state. In the end, Amarinder made a statement that Channi had apologized to the officer. Efforts are being made to raise the same issue once again and opposition parties in the state are campaigning against Channi on Twitter. Meanwhile, Channi took oath as the Chief Minister. Two more Punjab Congress leaders Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Om Prakash Soni have also been made Deputy Chief Ministers. Channi has become the first Dalit Chief Minister of Punjab, so it is also being said that by electing him, the Congress has tried to woo about 31 percent Dalit voters of the state. However, analysts believe that the Dalit voters of the state have never voted as a faction before. In such a situation, it has to be seen how much benefit the Congress gets by making Channi the Chief Minister.

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