Punjab Governor Shivraj V Patil on Wednesday administered the oath of office and secrecy to Parkash Singh Badal as chief minister of the state for the record fifth time at Chappar Chiri, the place where Sikhs led by Baba Banda Singh Bahadur defeated the Mughals in 1710.
Badal who is now 84 became the chief minister of Punjab for the first time in 1970 when he was barely 43.
Later, on the recommendation of Badal, the Punjab Governor sworn in Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), president, Sukhbir Singh Badal, (49) two time MLA, as deputy chief minister and 16 SAD and BJP leaders as cabinet rank ministers.
From the Akalis, six time MLA and a dalit leader Sarwan Singh Phillaur makes it to the cabinet. Badal’s son-in-law Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, a three time MLA from Patti constituency, and Sukhbir’s brother-in-law Bikram Singh Majithia two time MLA from Majithia were also sworn in as the cabinet ministers.
Four time MLA from Shahkot, Ajit Singh Kohar, Gulzar Singh Ranike, son of senior Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Tota Singh, former SGPC, president, Bibi Jagir Kaur, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Sikander Singh Maluka and Surjit Singh Rakhra were also sworn in as cabinet ministers.
From the BJP Bhagat Chunni Lal (81) a three time MLA from Jalandhar (south) whom the state BJP unit has also elected as the CLP leader of the party, Anil Joshi, Surjit Kumar Jyani were also sworn in as cabinet ministers.
All cabinet ministers including the chief minister took the oath in Punjabi.
The SAD-BJP alliance got absolute majority in the state polls to the 117-member state assembly winning 68 seats whereas the opposition Congress bagged only 46 seats.
Facts about the Punjab cabinet
The newly sworn in Punjab cabinet has the average age of 60 years. Badal is the oldest among the cabinet at 84. SAD MLA from Majitha, Bikram Singh Majithia at the age of 36 is the youngest minister in the SAD-BJP government.
At 38, Parminder Singh Dhindsa, SAD MLA from Sunam, is another young face in the Punjab Cabinet.
SAD chief and Jalalabad MLA Sukhbir Badal, is 49 while lone woman in the Punjab cabinet Bibi Jagir Kaur, MLA from Bholath and former SGPC President, is 54.
Sarwan Singh Phillaur (64), Adesh Partap Singh Kairon (51), Ajit Singh Kohar (71), MLA Tota Singh (70) and Sikandar Singh Maluka (62) are among those SAD ministers who are above 50.
Bhagat Chuni lal is 81, Madan Mohan Mittal (72), Anil Joshi, 47 and Surjit Kumar Jyani is 56.
In the newly sworn in cabinet while there are three postgraduates, 7 graduates, two 12th pass, tow 10th pass, three 8th pass and one barely literate.