CHANDIGARH: Terming that he is an aam aadmi (common man) and this government is of the people of Punjab, newly-appointed Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi said that his government of the poor, for the poor, and with the poor.
Channi was sworn as CM on Monday along with Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Om Prakash Soni as his deputies.
After taking over as the Chief Minister, Channi, who was flanked by Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu and AICC Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat, said he will become the voice of the common people of Punjab and always remain accessible to the people. "I am the aam aadmi, sitting here while other parties keep talking about aam aadmi. This is the sarkar of aam aadmi (this government is of the common man). It has to take many decisions for the people of the state," he added.
Thanking Congress leadership for choosing an aam aadmi (common man) for the top post Channi said, "My father used to fix tents at others' houses and I drove a rickshaw." He also described Rahul Gandhi as a 'revolutionary leader.’
He also promised to put an immediate end to the sand mafia raj and announced waiving off domestic water and sewerage bills, besides reducing the power tariff of the poor in rural and urban areas. "All outstanding electricity bills of the poor will be waived and their electricity connections will be restored," he said.
Channi said, "I am a representative of the common man, the farmer, and anyone who is oppressed. I am not a representative of the rich. Those who are into sand-mining and other illegal activities, they should not come to me. I am not your representative."
He said the poor and the needy would not be harassed at any government office, be it police station or tehsil office. Channi also claimed that this government would end corruption and will be a transparent government, he said, "either corrupt officers would stay or I would stay." "We will ensure a transparent government."
Channi further said that Congress’ ideology is to take everyone along as the party high command has given an 18-point programme and his government is committed to it. "The party is supreme, not the CM or the cabinet. The government will work as per the party's ideology,” he said. "The promises made will be fulfilled," he added.
Urging the Union government to repeal the three farm laws, he said his party stands firmly behind farmers agitating against these 'black’ laws. "Together, we have to make Punjab prosperous. Punjab is primarily an agrarian state. This government is a pro-farmer government, this is Congress government,” he said.
Thanking his predecessor Capt Amarinder Singh in his thanksgiving note, Channi said Channi said he (Amarinder) did good work as CM. "I will complete all of Captain's (Amarinder Singh's) unfinished work.” "He is also known as the protector of water rights. He is our party leader,” he said.
Channi is the first Dalit CM of Punjab. Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit administered the oath to Channi, Randhawa, and Soni at a ceremony held at the Raj Bhawan here.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)