CHANDIGARH: Punjab Congress chief Capt. Amarinder Singh on Thursday was sworn in as the 26th Chief Minister of Punjab in the presence of Congress leaders, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, at the swearing-in ceremony held at the Punjab Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh.
Capt. Amarinder, 75, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor V.P. Singh Badnore. The Congress MLAs--Brahm Mohindra, Navjot Sidhu, Manpreet Badal, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Tript Rajinder Bajwa, Rana Gurjeet Singh and Charanjit Singh Channi took oath as cabinet ministers and two women legislators--Aruna Chaudhary and Razia Sultana took oath as minister of State.
While Capt. Amarinder and Rana Gurjeet took the oath in English, Aruna Chaudhary took it in Hindi and rest all others took the oath in Punjabi.
According to sources, cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu would be given the post of deputy chief minister in the 15th Punjab Assembly. However, he was the third among the list of nine ministers sworn in on Thursday.
Sources said that an expansion of the State Cabinet would take place at a later date as the Punjab Assembly can have a maximum of 18 ministers, including the Chief Minister.
The ceremony was also attended by Natwar Singh, Kapil Sibal, Anand Sharma, former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Ambika Soni, Raj Babbar, Ajay Maken, Sachin Pilot, Partap Singh Bajwa, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal besides former Union minister Preneet Kaur--wife of Capt. Amarinder.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Amarinder Singh and tweeted, “Wishing you the very best in working for Punjab’s development.’’