An air of festivity prevailed in chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s hometown throughout the day soon after his oath taking ceremony in Chandigarh, in which he took over the reins of Punjab’s new Congress government on Thursday.
The party supporters burst crackers and distributed sweets in at least 50 places to celebrate Amarinder’s victory. A major reason for the home celebrations, was also the fact that the city got a major share in Captain’s new nine-member council of ministers. Patiala (Rural) MLA Brahm Mohindra joined Amarinder’s cabinet as health and medical education minister; Nabha MLA Sadhu Singh Dharamsot emerged as party’s Dalit face and was given welfare of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Backward Classes (BCs) ministry along with forests, printing, and stationery. He is the first MLA representing the Bazigar community.
Navjot Singh Sidhu, MLA from Amritsar (East) and is now a cabinet minister with a portfolio of local government and tourism has its roots in Patiala. The city’s representation in new government can’t be bigger than that.
Throughout the day, the supporters held small meetings at several places to celebrate the formation of new government. There was a buzz around Amarinder’s Moti Bagh palace and Brahm’s house, both situated near YPS Chowk.
Supporters also gathered around Amarinder’s ancestral Queela Mubarak palace in the old city to celebrate his empathetic win in recently concluded assembly polls. “The city’s old glory is back after years. It will take several days before that feeling actually sinks in,” said a supporter.
Local Congress leader Sanjeev Bittu said that the city has finally found its long due status. “There is no doubt that enough funds will be pumped into facelift of the entire city,” he said.
Patiala’s medical fraternity expects major attention
From timely promotions to the facelift of Patiala Government Medical College, medical teachers are hopeful of major attention as Brahm took over the health portfolio.
A professor said that the college has no permanent post of principal, besides freezing of promotion of the faculty for over a year now.
“We expect timely decision-making in filling the vacant posts, both through promotion and direct recruitment, besides senior-most faculty member being elevated to principal’s post,” he added.
Punjab State Medical and Dental Teachers Association has already demanded removal of Dr KK Talwar, health and medical education advisor to former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for his failure to guide the interests of medical and dental teachers during his tenure under the previous government.