Badal is SAD-BJP MLAs' leader; stakes claim to form govt
Shiromani Akali Dal supremo Parkash Singh Badal was unanimously elected as leader of SAD-BJP Legislative Party on Friday, setting in motion the process of his swearing-in as chief minister of the state for the fifth time.
In a joint meeting of SAD-BJP Legislative Party, saffron party observer Shanta Kumar proposed the name of Parkash Singh Badal, which was seconded by state BJP president Ashwani Sharma.
Badal's name was seconded by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal and endorsed by BJP Legislative Party leader Bhagat Chunni Lal and Dharamkot MLA Tota Singh and BJP MLA Madan Mohan Mittal.
Senior BJP leaders Shanta Kumar and Arun Jaitley specially came from Delhi for the meeting.
Speaking after his election as leader of the SAD-BJP Legislative Party, Badal said that he fell short of words to express his gratitude to all MLAs, who had given him this enormous responsibility.
He said that when he became the chief minister for the first time in 1969, he was the youngest CM of the country and now he would be the oldest CM in the country.
Badal thanked the people of Punjab for showering their love and affection on him.
Thanking the BJP, Badal said that the relationship of SAD with the BJP was an emotional one and never had there been any trade-off between the two alliance partners since both had moved forward with perfect understanding.
He said that he was conscious of the challenges ahead in his new term as the next government had to fulfill raised expectations and aspirations of people of Punjab.
Describing the 2012 Vidhan Sabha polls as "semi-final for 2014 Lok Sabha elections", Badal said that both parties would now work collectively to win all 13 Lok Sabha seats from Punjab, decimating the Congress from the political scene.
Earlier in the meeting, Shanta Kumar said that this election marked the decimation of UPA from the Centre. He said that the SAD-BJP alliance had broken a 46-year record by returning to power for second consecutive term.
The BJP leader said that Badal was a towering personality and unparalleled leader in the polity of the country.
Later, Badal accompanied by Sukhbir, BJP Legislative Party leader Bhagat Chuni Lal, state BJP president Ashwani Sharma, Shanta Kumar and SAD MLA and spokesman Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema drove to the Punjab Raj Bhawan and handed over a copy of the resolution to Punjab Governor Shivraj V Patil. The Governor handed over an invitation to Badal to form the next government in Punjab.