Published: Wed, March 29, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Amarinder Singh takes oath as Punjab CM

Amarinder Singh takes oath as Punjab CM

This was decided here on Saturday at the first meeting of the state cabinet, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

Amarinder, a former Army captain, took the oath in English.

Speculation was rife that the cricketer-turned politician Sidhu would be given the post of deputy chief minister but he was the third among the list of nine ministers sworn in today.

The ministers inducted included Brahm Mohindra, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Manpreet Badal, Charanjit Singh Channi, Rana Gurjeet Singh, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also attended the swearing-in ceremony. He had remained Chief Minister from 2002-2007 previously.

Amarinder Singh will also handle General Administration, Personnel, Home Affairs and Justice, Vigilance and all other departments not assigned to any other minister, an official spokesman said in Chandigarh.

Aruna Choudhary and Razia Sultana were sworn in as ministers of state with independent charge. Former Union Ministers P Chidambaram, Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibal, Ashwani Kumar, Rajeev Shukla, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh will also be present.

Amarinder had announced that the oath taking ceremony would be a simple affair in view of the financial crisis facing the stage.

The low-key swearing-in opted for by Amarinder, who comes from the royal family of Patiala, is in sharp contrast to the crores of rupees spent by his predecessor Parkash Singh Badal for his own swearing-in gala public events in 2007 and 2012.

The Punjab government is believed to be under a massive debt of over Rs 200,000 crore, as per the claims of the Congress leaders during the election campaign.

Congress stormed to power in Punjab winning 77 seats, AAP won 20, its ally Lok Insaaf Party 2, ruling SAD won 15 and its ally BJP won 3 seats.

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