Charanjit Channi cried when told he’d be Punjab CM: Rahul tells CWC

Says the Congress has to fight caste prejudices and injustices, it does not matter who holds what post

Charanjit Channi cried when told he’d be Punjab CM: Rahul tells CWC

Charanjit Singh Channi. File photo

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 16

For some time during the Congress Working Committee meeting on Saturday, the mood became highly sombre when Rahul Gandhi told the house that Charanjit Singh Channi broke into tears when told he would be the chief minister of Punjab.

Seeking CWC’s permission to make a personal point, Rahul said when Congress president Sonia Gandhi phoned Charanjit Singh Channi to tell him he would be the next Punjab CM, “Channi ji cried and said he could never imagine that a person from an ordinary background such as his could become chief minister.”

Present at the CWC gathering, Channi, one of the three CMs of the Congress-ruled states, who attended today, nodded in agreement and later said, “I could have never dreamed of being a CM as I am from a community where we are conditioned not to have any dreams. I cried on the phone that day because Congress president and Rahul ji were striking at the very core of injustices – the conditioning that those from a certain community should be content being ministers and they cannot overcome the prejudices inherent in society.”

Rahul, citing Channi’s example, today said people expect the Congress to fight for them.

“It does not matter who holds what post, people are only interested in seeing a united Congress which fights for the sustenance of democracy, honour of the Constitution and rights of the disadvantaged,” said Rahul urging the party leaders to work against mind sets that SCs, STs and OBCs cannot take up leadership roles.

“The BJP approach is that the elite will rule over the marginalised. We have to work against this approach. The BJP and RSS want to divide the society on the basis of religion and communities. This will sound a death knell for democracy and would be a derogation of the principles of BR Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru’s and Patel. This is what we need to fight for,” Gandhi said at the meeting, adding, “Those who are trying to weaken the Congress must also think about it.”

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