Chandigarh: Wearing a full-sleeve kurta and a black jacket with also sporting his Army medals, 75-year-old Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh was on Thursday sworn in as the 26th chief minister of Punjab in the presence of an august gathering. The event was attended by hundreds of people from different walks of life, including senior Congress party leaders like AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.
Captain Amarinder and his nine-member Council of Ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor V P Singh Badnore at a simple but impressive ceremony held amid tight security at the Punjab Raj Bhavan here. Besides seven Cabinet Ministers, two Ministers of State have been inducted in the Council of Ministers headed by Captain Amarinder, for whom this is the second term as the Chief Minister of the state.
The Cabinet Ministers who took the oath of office were newly elected MLAs Brahm Mohindra (Patiala rural), Navjot Singh Sidhu (Amritsar East), Manpreet Singh Badal (Bathinda Urban), Sadhu Singh Dharamsot (Nabha), Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa (Fatehgarh Churian), Rana Gurjit Singh (Kapurthala) and Charanjit Singh Channi (Chamkaur Sahib), while Aruna Chaudhary (Dina Nagar) and Razia Sultana (Malerkotla) were sworn in as Ministers of State with Independent Charge.
It is learnt that at the advice of an astrologer Amarinder took oath as Punjab Chief Minister at dot 10.17 am. Amarinder and his ministerial colleagues took the oath of office in the name of god and, after being administered the oath, signed the oath form, which was countersigned by the Governor Badnore. Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal conducted the ceremony. It was ironic that immediately after the event was concluded, he was replaced with 1984-batch IAS officer Karan Avtar Singh, who is now Punjab’s new Chief Secretary.
The event was attended by a host of prominent political and other dignitaries, in addition to family members, friends and relatives of Captain Amarinder and his colleagues in the Council of Ministers. Among others, former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, former union ministers Ambika Soni, Kapil Sibal, Anand Sharma, Pawan Bansal, Sachin Pilot, Natwar Singh and Preneet Kaur also graced the occasion.Besides, Amarinder’s Pakistan-based journalist friend Aroosa Alam was the cynosure. She was spotted busy in exchanging pleasantries with Amarinder’s guests much before the start of the event, which continued till she left the Raj Bhawan after the concluding ceremony. Several senior editors and journalists, as well as media heads, were also present on the occasion.
Portfolios AT A GLANCE
MINISTERS OF STATE
PM congratulates Captain
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday congratulated Amarinder Singh on taking over as Punjab Chief Minister and wished him the best in working for the state’s development. “Congratulations @capt_amarinder on taking oath as CM. Wishing you the very best in working for Punjab’s development,” Modi tweeted.