Captain Amarinder Singh took oath as Punjab Chief Minister, for the second time, in an austere swearing in ceremony at Punjab Raj Bhawan today marking return of Congress party to power after hiatus of a decade.
The Congress witnessed thumping victory in the recent Vidhan Sabha elections, winning 77 seats, short of two third majority by just one seat. Aam Aadmi Party, expected to sweep the elections received a major jolt as their march to power was restricted at 20 seats even as the incumbent SAD BJP government got just 18 seats. This has left AAP as the main party in Opposition in Vidhan Sabha with HS Phoolka, human rights advocate by profession, appointed as the Leader of Opposition.
Monday saw bigwigs of Congress thronging to the Punjab Bhawan highlighting how significant the Congresss win in Punjab is for the party. Those seen in the audience included senior Congress leaders former PM Manmohan Singh, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Raj Babbar, Ambika Soni, CM of neighboring HP Virbhadra Singh.
Along with the CM, his Cabinet was also sworn in as eight ministers took oath at the swearing in ceremony. This included former cricketer turned celebrity and former MP Navjot Singh Sidhu who quit BJP and joined Congress at the eleventh hour. His induction in the Cabinet quietened rumors of his joining as the Deputy Chief Minister.
Manpreet Badal, nephew of former CM PS Badal, also took oath as a cabinet minister along with Amarinder loyalists Brahm Mohindra and Rana Gurjit Singh. Manpreet Badal was a Finance Minister in the SAD BJP led Badal government in the past.
Some of the other ministers who took oath include Razia Sultana, MLA from Malerkotla and Aruna Chaudhary.
Meanwhile, Twitter was abuzz with tweets regarding the new government in Punjab. Prime Minister Narendra Modia tweeted his best wishes to Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. “Wishing you the very best in working for Punjab’s development,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Capt Amarinder Singh on Twitter.