Taking the concerns over the appointment of Sidhu loyalist Channi as the Chief Minister of Punjab, the National Commission of Women (NCW) has conveyed displeasure regarding the same. The outgoing CM Captain Amarinder Singh had appealed to the high command in Congress to not replace him with Navjot Singh Sidhu citing the latter’s cordial relationship with Pakistan PM Imran Khan and Pakistan Army Chief Bajwa. He fretted over the threat to the security of the state as Punjab shares more than 500 km of length of border with the hostile neighbour. In his opinion, appointing Sidhu would’ve been an open invitation to terrorist outfits.
Although Navjot Singh Sidhu wasn’t chosen, his known aid and long-time loyalist Charanjit Singh Channi has instead been designated the position. Not one day has passed since the oath was administered by Punjab governor Banwari Lal Purohit, the calls for reversal of the decision have been made. Reportedly, in November 2018 when the ‘me too’ movement was in headlines, Channi was accused of gross misbehaviour by a lady IAS Officer who claimed that he sent her inappropriate and lewd texts.
Rekha Sharma, the NCW Chairperson has urged Sonia Gandhi, who was given the power to choose the new CM by the MLAs of Punjab, to remove Channi as the CM. She has been quoted as saying “He’s not worthy to be a CM. He’s a threat to women’s safety”, and demanded an enquiry in the allegations levelled against him. Discussions have also started taking off on whether the state getting its first Dalit CM who is looking to lure more of the Sikh community will contribute towards a decrease of Hindu voters. It is now to be seen what will be the outcome of this political debacle and how will this affect Congress’ prospect in the upcoming state assembly elections.