'I am aam aadmi..this is aam aadmi sarkar': Punjab CM Charanjit Channi's swipe at AAP

Recounts his humble beginnings, says his father used to fix tents

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20

Promising to put an immediate end to the mafia raj, new Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Monday announced waiving the domestic water and sewerage bills, besides reducing the power tariff, of the poor in rural and urban areas.

The Cabinet on Monday itself will decide on containing the sand mafia.

Maintaining that the "government of the poor, for the poor and with the poor" would run in a transparent manner, Channi said the poor and the needy would not be harassed in any government office.

Addressing the media after taking over as the CM, Channi broke down as he thanked the Congress leadership for choosing “an aam aadmi (common man)” for the top post.

Claiming that he would end corruption in government offices, Channi said "either corrupt officers would stay or I would stay".

“I am the aam aadmi sitting here while other parties keep talking about aam aadmi. This is the aam aadmi sarkar. It has to take many decisions for Punjab,” said Channi, flanked by Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and AICC Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat.

“My father used to fix tents," he said, his voice choking.

Channi included his predecessor Capt Amarinder Singh in his thanks-giving note.

Channi is the first Dalit Sikh to become the Chief Minister of Punjab. He has two deputies, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Om Prakash Soni.

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attended the oath ceremony, owning his decision to change the leadership in Punjab amid criticism from several quarters.

“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, don't come to me. I am not your representative,” the new Chief Minister said. Promising to exempt the poor from water bills, Channi said, “I will complete all of Captain's (Amarinder Singh's) unfinished work.”

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