Express News Service

CHANDIGARH:  For once, Charanjit Singh Channi would be vindicated for his strong belief in astrology. With humble beginning as a municipal councillor in the Kharar Municipal Council two decades ago, Channi’s elevation as the chief minister is nothing short of a meteoric rise.The stars, it appears, aligned for him as Channi, 48, a Ramdasia Sikh community, is the first from the SC community to become a chief minister in Punjab. 

A three-time municipal councillor, he later became the president of Kharar Municipal Council in 2002. He then went on to become a three-time MLA from Chamkaur Sahib, beginning with his win as an Independent after rebelling against his parent party in 2007. Three years on, he re-joined the party.  He then went on to retain the seat for two consecutive times in 2012 and 2017.

In between these years, Channi was the leader of opposition from 2015 to 2016. In 2017, he was appointed as the Cabinet Minister for Technical Education. It was his entry in the inner circles of PCC chief Navjot Sidhu that saw his stock rise rapidly.

Channi was born on April 2, 1972, in Makrona Kalan village near Chamkaur Sahib.  His father Harsa Singh had served as a sarpanch of the gram panchayat of his village. The Congress leader saw hardship from close quarters. The humble beginnings shaped up his career as he received free education in school, thanks to his talent in sports especially handball. He did graduation from Guru Gobind Singh Collage, law from Punjab University and MBA from Punjab Technical University at Jalandhar. Presently, he is doing PhD from Panjab University. 

Channi has his share of troubles as well. His detractors often criticise his style of functioning. On various issues, he has been an open critic of the government. In October 2018, a woman IAS officer had alleged that he had sent an `inappropriate’ text message. The CM had come to his rescue saying that he apologised to the officer.  In 2017, he constructed a road from a park outside his official residence on the advice of an astrologer to have east facing entry. The road was later razed.