Downplaying the opposition by Punjab unit of ally BJP to his appointment as Deputy Chief Minister, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday asserted that the ties with the saffron party were "strong as ever" and above "any bargaining".
"This is no issue. Our (SAD) ties with BJP are old and strong as ever and they have never been election-related," Sukhbir told reporters soon after taking oath.
Asked if BJP had been sidelined as it had been demanding the Deputy Chief Minister's post, he said, "We are like a family and there is no bargaining or give or take between us and our ties are above these things."
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal also brushed aside claims of resentment in BJP saying "there is no such thing."
He also dismissed as "baseless" apprehensions that the move would perpetuate dynastic rule, saying the "young blood" deserved a chance to actively participate in governance.
Sukhbir also rejected suggestions that he was the 'Chief Minister in-waiting' or that he would act as "Super CM" saying as deputy chief minister, he would work to fulfil the "big responsibility" he has been entrusted with at a "young age".
With his task of polishing SAD- BJP government's image ahead of Lok Sabha polls clearly cut out, Sukhbir vowed to bring in "accountability" in the admnistration and raise the issue of state autonomy more "effectively".
"Anandpur Sahib Resolution (on state autonomy), Punjab river waters and Chandigarh issue would be taken up seriously in an effective manner," he said.