Hours after he took oath as the new Punjab Chief Minister, Charanjit Singh Channi has already started facing the heat as there have been demands for his removal from the apex post. The newly appointed CM is being followed by his past controversies including being accused of sending inappropriate text messages to a woman IAS officer back in 2018.
Rekha Sharma, National Commission of Woman chief today citing Channi's involvement during the #MeToo movement after he was accued of sending inappropriate texts to a woman oficer, said that he is a threat to woman safety. She alleged, "today, he has been made Punjab CM by a party that is headed by a woman, it is betrayal." She also said that an enquiry should be conducted against him, he is not worthy to be CM.
She has also urged Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi to remove him from the chief minister post.
Recalling the incident, she further said, the State Women Commission had taken a suo moto cognizance of the matter & the chairperson sat on a dharna demanding his removal but nothing happened.
The issue had resurfaced in May this year when the Punjab women panel chief threatened to go on a hunger strike if the state government failed to apprise her within a week of its stand on the "inappropriate text" message allegedly sent by Channi, who was then a minister in the Amarinder Singh government.
Today, he has been made Punjab CM by a party that is headed by a woman. It is betrayal. He is a threat to women safety. An enquiry should be conducted against him. He is not worthy to be CM. I urge Sonia Gandhi to remove him from the CM post: NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma (1/2) pic.twitter.com/56kjw4XG7F— ANI (@ANI) September 20, 2021
Punjab Women Commission chairperson Manisha Gulati threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike if the state government failed to act on a clarification sought by her. When the controversy had erupted, she had written a letter to then chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh but did not get a reply.
Gulati’s move was questioned in Congress circles as the issue was resurrected at a time when Channi was seen as part of a group of ministers leading the charge against Singh. Ministers close to Channi termed it a “witch hunt” by the Amarinder camp.
Notably, a few days after he was inducted into the state cabinet, Channi, on the advice of an astrologer to have an east-facing entry to his house for political gains, illegally constructed a road from a park outside his official residence in Sector 2, Chandigarh. Within hours, the road was razed by the Chandigarh administration.
Again on his astrologer’s advice, Channi rode an elephant in the lawns of his house in Kharar. Pictures of the elephant ride went viral and left many amused.
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