CHANDIGARH: Perhaps mirroring the financial constraints the state is facing, chief minister-designate for Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh, has decided to have a low-key swearing-in ceremony unlike his predecessor Parkash Singh Badal.
The swearing in is scheduled to be held at the Raj Bhavan on Thursday morning where Punjab governor VP Singh Badnore will administer the oath of office to the new CM.
The swearing-in ceremony for Badal in 2012, marking SAD-BJP combine’s second consecutive term after 2007, was a grand affair that cost the government Rs 5 crore. From big stages to helipads, lunch for dignitaries, fire cracker show and big screens put up for attendees, no expenses were spared to display the political clout of the party. In 2007 too, a ceremony on similar lines was held at PCA Stadium in Mohali.
However, this is not the first time that Singh has gone for an austere ceremony. In 2002 too, when the Congress had come to power, he had shunned all razzmatazz. Singh has made it clear that he did not want any unnecessary expenditure as his government was committed to getting the state out of the financial doldrums the previous government had plunged it into.
Singh also requested all newly-elected MLAs to keep their personal invitations to the bare minimum and urged them to ensure that their supporters also showed similar restraint, and did not clog the roads of Chandigarh and cause hardship to the people. While thanking the party workers and the people of Punjab for giving the Congress such a clear mandate in the Assembly polls, he said he would visit all districts to personally express his gratitude once the immediate constitutional requirements of government formation were completed.
The CM-designate appealed to the people to support his government’s efforts in bringing Punjab’s growth and development back on track. Pointing to the thousands of crores of rupees of debt under which the state is currently reeling, he underlined the need for collective and out-of-the-box initiatives by all government departments, backed by public support, to address the crisis. He expressed confidence that his government would successfully overcome the situation to revive the economic growth and restore the state to its original glory.
Amarinder Singh on Tuesday invited Rahul Gandhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony. This was the first meeting between the two after the Punjab elections.