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EXCLUSIVE: I Will Win Both Seats With Huge Margin, Punjab CM Channi Exudes Confidence

Punjab Elections 2022: Channi, a three-time MLA from Chamkaur Sahib, became the state’s first Dalit Chief Minister in September after the ouster of Captain Amarinder Singh. 

Updated: February 7, 2022 3:38 PM IST

By India.com News Desk | Edited by Surabhi Shaurya

EXCLUSIVE: I Will Win Both Seats With Huge Margin, Punjab CM Channi Exudes Confidence
In the manifesto, Congress said it will provide Rs 1,100 per month to Punjab women.

New Delhi: Days ahead of elections, Punjab chief minister (CM) Charanjit Singh Channi has exuded confidence that he will emerge victorious from both seats —Chamkaur Sahib and Bhadaur. “I will win both seats with huge margin”, Channi told Zee News in an exclusive interview with Shivangi Thakur on Monday. For the unversed, Channi is contesting the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha polls from two seats.  He has been the sitting MLA and representing Chamkaur Sahib since 2007.

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On being asked about the Congress party’s decision behind electing him as the CM candidate of Punjab, Channi said that the party high command was deliberating upon three names—Navjot Singh Sidhu, Sunil Jakhar, and me. “However, after considering everyone’s opinion, I was declared the CM face”, he told Zee News. Notably, Channi, a three-time MLA from Chamkaur Sahib, became the state’s first Dalit Chief Minister in September after the ouster of Captain Amarinder Singh.

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‘Sidhu And I Share Good Camaraderie’

On his relationship with the Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, Channi asserted that they share good camaraderie and will work together for the betterment of Punjab. He also informed that day after tomorrow he will be heading to Sidhu’s house in Amritsar.  Earlier on Sunday, after Cong announced Channi as the CM candidate, Channi was seen touching Sidhu’s feet on stage.

‘Hume Punjab ko Delhi ke Mukhyamatri Se Bachana Hai’

He also launched a scathing attack on AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal stating that Hume Punjab ko Delhi ke Mukhyamatri Se Bachana Hai (we have to save Punjab from Delhi CM).

On Captain’s relationship with Pakistani journalist Aroosa Aalam

When asked about his bitter rival and former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh’s relationship with Pakistani journalist Aroosa Aalam, Channi said, “I don’t want to say anything about this. Captain elder to me and I don’t want to open this chapter. A few days back, Zee News had interacted with Alam where the journalist spoke openly about her relationship with Captain and the internal politics of the Congress party. Read the full interview here.

Aroosa Alam is a defence journalist and the daughter of Akleem Akhtar (Rani General), a close associate of former Pakistan President General Yahya Khan. She is married and has two sons. Aroosa Alam reportedly met Amarinder Singh during his visit to Pakistan in 2004. Since then, Aroosa Alam has visited India on several occasions and has been frequently seen with Amarinder Singh.

Congress’ Strategy Behind Choosing Channi as CM

With Charanjit Singh Channi, the Chief Ministerial face in Punjab, the Congress eyes Dalit votes in other states too — Uttarakhand and Goa which are going to polls on February 14. The party does not have high stakes in UP but it could make inroads in the Dalit vote bank which is with the BSP. The Congress leaders belonging to the community are happy that the party has taken a big step forward. Leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, who missed the Karnataka bus twice said, “The announcement of the name of Charanjit Singh Channi as the CM candidate of Punjab by Rahul Gandhi is a big step taken by the Congress party towards social justice and empowerment of Dalits. I applaud this decision and hope the people of Punjab support this historic decision.”

Punjab assembly polls are scheduled to take place on February 20. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.

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Published Date: February 7, 2022 2:55 PM IST

Updated Date: February 7, 2022 3:38 PM IST