Having remained out of power for about 40 days, Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal was on Monday sworn in as deputy chief minister in the Punjab government headed by his father, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Badal junior was administered the oath of office and secrecy as deputy chief minister by Punjab Governor SF Rodrigues at a simple ceremony at the Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh.
Sukhbir, wearing a white kurta-payjama and a black half-jacket, took the oath in Punjabi. He then touched the feet of his father Parkash Singh Badal on the dais and his mother Surinder Kaur, who was seated nearby. He greeted other relatives, including his MP wife Harsimrat Kaur.
This is the second time within seven months that Sukhbir Badal has been sworn-in as deputy chief minister.
He was first inducted as deputy chief minister in the Badal government January 21 this year in Amritsar. He remained in the post for just over five months.
Sukhbir Badal resigned July 1 after failing to fulfil the constitutional requirement of getting elected within six months of being sworn in.
He got elected to the Punjab assembly last Thursday (August 6) after winning the Jalalabad assembly seat by-election by a record margin of over 80,000 votes.
The swearing-in of Badal junior was simple this time with limited number of invitees compared to his earlier swearing-in at Amritsar. The state government had spent millions of rupees of public money for the earlier event.
Ministers of the Badal government, including those from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the alliance partner of the ruling Akali Dal, Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu and other prominent people were present on the occasion.
This is Sukhbir Badal's maiden entry to the Punjab assembly, though he has been an MP in the Lok Sabha three times. He was also union minister of state for industries in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.