Captain Amarinder Singh, who played a major role in victory of Congress in Punjab after a decade, sworn in as the Chief Minister of Punjab among nine new ministers. Navjot Singh Sidhu and Manpreet Singh Badal took oaths as cabinet ministers.
Congress comfortably won the Punjab assembly election 2017 after a decade with 77 seats against 20 seats for Kejriwal-led AAP and just 18 seats for SAD-BJP alliance. Captain Amarinder Singh, the Punjab Congress chief played a significant role during the campaigning and made the triumph easier.
Captain Amarinder Singh took oath as Chief Minister of Punjab for the second time after his first term in 2002-07. A total of nine ministers took oaths today. The top guns of Congress party attended the coronation ceremony, including party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other 49 top leaders.
Apart from the oath ceremony, the eyes were on newbie CongressiNavjot Singh Sidhu, former cricketer and TV host. Sidhu joined Congress just 19 days prior to the election and promised to quit everything else if he was given the cabinet minister position in Punjab. Sidhu was the second minister to take oath after Captain Amarinder.
Captain’s cabinet also includes Manpreet Singh Badal, a SAD-rebel and estranged nephew of the outgoing CM Prakash Singh Badal. Manpreet was the finance minister of Badal Government but he later drifted away and launched People’s Party of Punjab, which merged with Congress.
Singh had made it clear on Wednesday that in the light of the state’s fiscal situation, he did not want any unnecessary or wasteful expenditure to be used on the swearing-in ceremony.He also said he would be visiting all the districts of Punjab to personally express his gratitude once the immediate constitutional requirements of government formation were completed.