Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Capt Amarinder Singh was sworn in as the state’s 26th chief minister at the Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh.
This is Capt Amarinder’s second stint as Punjab CM. The oath of office was administered by Punjab governor VP Singh Badnore.
The constitutional cap of 15% ministers in the 117 – member House allows the new Congress government to induct a maximum of 18 Cabinet members, including the chief minister.
11:15 am: Apna Punjab Party congratulates Capt Amarinder.
Aapna Punjab Party congratulates Capt Amrinder Singh on his becoming 26th Chief Minister of Punjab.— Aapna Punjab Party (@apnapunjabparty) March 16, 2017
11:00 am: Meanwhile, traffic jams were seen in areas around the Raj Bhawan.
10: 47 am: “Wishing you the very best in working for Punjab’s development,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulates Capt Amarinder Singh on Twitter.
Congratulations @capt_amarinder on taking oath as CM. Wishing you the very best in working for Punjab’s development.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 16, 2017
10: 46 am: Attendence of top Congress leadership highlights the importance of the victory in Punjab.
10:42 am : Aruna Chaudhary takes oath in Hindi
Minister Aruna Chaudhary takes oath in Hindi— sukhdeep kaur (@sukhdeepkr) March 16, 2017
10:38 am: AAP’s HS Phoolka, who will be the leader of Opposition in the 15th Punjab Vidhan Sabha, tweets about unavailability of seats at the swearing-in.
10: 32 am: Six-time MLA and Congress stalwart Brahm Mohindra takes oath.
10:28 am: Sadhu Singh Dharamsot takes oath in Punjabi.
10:26 am: Manpreet Badal takes oath as cabinet minister.
10:24: Navjot Singh Sidhu takes oath as cabinet minister; goes on to touch Capt Amarinder’s feet.
10:18 am: Capt Amarinder Singh takes oath as Punjab chief minister.
10:15 am: Congress leaders and other dignitaries at the swearing-in ceremony.
9:30 am: Preparations are underway at the Raj Bhawan for the swearing-in.
Preparations underway in Chandigarh ahead of swearing in ceremony of Captain Amarinder Singh, set to take oath as Punjab Chief Minister. pic.twitter.com/uxulhlkteZ— ANI (@ANI_news) March 16, 2017
9:20 am: Rahul Gandhi is expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony, which will be simple affair.
7:30 am: Captain Amarinder Singh’s wax statue made in Ludhiana, ahead of his swearing in as Punjab Chief Minister today.
12:30 am: According to Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee’s letter (accessed by HT) to the Raj Bhawan, seven cabinet ministers and two ministers of state will be administered the oath of office along with the CM.
The story so far
It was a huge victory for the Congress in the assembly elections, the results of which were declared on March 11 — the Captain’s birthday. The Congress returned to power with a thumping triumph, emphatically brushing aside the challenge posed by the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the first-ever three-horse race in the border state.
The Congress notched 77 of the 117 seats, up from 46 in the 2012 assembly elections. The party is short of a two-third majority by only one seat. This is the party’s second best-ever performance in the state. Its highest tall was 87 seats in 1992 in an election boycotted by the Akalis.
Despite a win in Punjab, Congress was trounced in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assembly elections, and was caught off-guard in Goa and Manipur despite winning the highest seats. Congress leaders in the four states have their views on what went wrong, who is to blame, and what is the way forward. Read here.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal “responsibility” for the party’s below-par performance in Punjab but alleged that large-scale irregularities in electronic voting machines (EVMs) might have led to transfer of about 20-25% of Aam Aadmi Party’s votes to the SAD-Akali combine. Kejriwal’s AAP finished with 20 seats in the 117-member Punjab assembly after internal surveys pointed to a sweep for the party.