CHANDIGARH: Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh would be sworn in as the next chief minister of Punjab at Punjab Raj Bhawan on March 16. This will be his second stint as a chief minister as he had served in the post earlier between 2002 and 2007.
In a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) on Sunday, he was unanimously elected the leader. He then met the Punjab governor VP Singh Badnore and staked claim to form the government in the state.
Calling for a bigger role for regional leaders in states, Amarinder termed the absence of a regional face as one of reasons for the drubbing received by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Assembly polls. He dismissed the AAP hype in the run-up to the Punjab elections as nothing but a social media creation. Singh emphasised that it was important to promote regional leaders in order to counter other regional parties in states.
Amarinder ruled out any vendetta politics by his government saying that proper investigations would be conducted to nab drug lords.
When asked about the complete rout of Congress in Uttar Pradesh, he said that he had a discussion with Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi the previous night, and they believed Congress had a chance of making a comeback in the politically crucial state just like it had in Punjab.
Optimistic about getting the Modi government’ support in taking forward the Punjab development agenda, Amarinder recalled that he had faced no problems in working with the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee during his previous chief ministerial tenure. He said he would be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon to discuss various development projects for the state.
Following the defeat of his party in Assembly elections, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal resigned on Sunday. Accompanied by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal and eight other ministers, he submitted his resignation to VP Singh Badnore at the Raj Bhavan here. Badal thanked the people for their support and the entire civil and police administration for cooperation. He also extended his best wishes to the incoming CM and his council of ministers.