Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi seems to be playing out a T20 match by dishing out quick administrative decisions to tide over lack of experience and limited political appeal. Channi wants to project the image of a “go-getter” so as to cement his position for the top job in the state ahead of the assembly election in 2022.
After a cabinet meeting on Monday, he announced a scheme that will give ownership rights to people living in lal dora parts of rural areas. Lal lakir, as it is popularly known, refers to land that is part of the village habitation and is used for non-agricultural purposes only.
He has also approved a similar scheme to give ownership rights to people living in municipal limits. Political observers said though the scheme has been rechristened, if implemented in the right manner it would not only help him and the Congress gain lost ground in rural areas, but will also help them make inroads with the urban crowd and the diaspora.
Citing his own example of being a “victim”of the lack of this implementation system, Channi said even the house in which he lived, located in Kharar area, was not in his father’s name despite the fact that they had been living there for more than three decades. Channi said under the scheme, beneficiaries will be able to register the property in their name.
He said due to lack of implementation of this scheme, people had been unable to fetch the right value for their property. With this decision and his previous action on filing a chargesheet against officials allegedly involved in a scholarship scam, political observers in the state are saying he wants to shed the image of being a mere “rubber stamp CM” and overcome the image of being guided by a “super CM”.
Channi seems to be on a roll to prove his detractors wrong. In fact, he met top industry representatives recently and sought more investment for the state.
“He doesn’t pass off as a mere rubber stamp. Seems to utilise his mind,” said a businessman who attended the meet.
Sources in Channi camp said in order to establish himself as a top leader of the state and to ensure he was not nudged around if the Congress came back to power, he was demonstrating his administrative acumen.
“He has the intent but messaging is also important. A message that he means business,” a leader said.
With inputs from News18