Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday administered the oath of office and secrecy to 21 chief parliamentary secretaries at Chappar Chiri in Mohali district, where the swearing-in ceremony of the Punjab cabinet took place last month.
A total of 21 MLAs, 17 belonging to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and four to BJP, took the oath. The ceremony went as planned as the petition filed against it by JS Bhatti was quashed by High Court on Monday. The petition challanged the right of the government to appoint 21 CPSs. This is considered to be a back door entry to power as there is a limit on the number of ministers you can appoint in the state cabinet.
The 'Fateh-e-Burj' memorial of Chappar Chiri was built to commemorate the victory of Legendary Sikh warrior Banda Singh Bahadur over the Mughals and was inaugurated by the SAD-BJP government at the fag end of its previous term.
As the alliance was voted to power for a historic second term in a row, Badal was sworn-in as the state chief minister for the fifth time at Chappar Chiri along with his deputy chief minister son Sukhbir Singh Badal and 16 other Cabinet colleagues on March 14.
Those who were sworn in as CPSs were Balbir Singh Ghunnas, Ch Nand Lal, Sohan Singh Thandal, Desraj Dhugga, Mantar Singh Brar, Harmeet Singh Sandhu, Mohinder Kaur Josh, Avinash Chander, Inderbir Singh Bolaria, Gurbachan Singh Babbehali, Virsa Singh Valtoha, Amarpal Singh Bonny Ajnala, Pawan Kumar Tinu, Parkash Chand Garg, Sarup Chand Singla, NK Sharma, Nisara Khatoon, KD Bhandari, Amarjit Singh Sahi, Som Parkash and Navjot Kaur Sidhu.