‘I pulled a rickshaw’, emotional Punjab CM speaks of his origins

New Delhi, September 20 (KMS): Charanjit Singh Channi, the first Dalit Chief Minister of Punjab, got emotional in his interaction with media after taking oath as he spoke of his humble origins and thanked the Congress for “giving great honour to a common man”.

Channi said in a choked voice, “I come from a family who had a house made of mud and straws. I am a representative of a poor man, be it a poor farmer or a labourer. I myself pulled a rickshaw. My father had a tent house business and I used to supply chairs (on a rickshaw),”

According to South Asian Wire, Channi’s focus on his “aam aadmi” origins could be directed at the Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is going all out to increase its footprint in Punjab ahead of the assembly elections in the state early next year.

Channi said he will become the voice of the common people of Punjab and will always remain accessible to the people.

Thanking the party leadership, Channi said the Congress has given a common person a great honour. He described Rahul Gandhi as a “revolutionary leader”.

In his first remarks after being sworn in, the 58-year-old Channi asked the Indian government to withdraw the three contentious farm laws.

Channi said his party stands firmly behind farmers agitating against the “black” farm laws. “I won’t let any harm come to the farmers. We will make a decision on sand mafia today itself. No power connection of a poor man will be disconnected for pending bills,” Channi said.

“We have to strengthen Punjab. It is the state of farmers. I appeal to the Indian to withdraw the farm laws. I will sever my head but I won’t let any harm come to the farmers,” he added.