Captain Amarinder Singh back in charge as CM in Punjab

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Punjab Elections: Amarinder Singh to take oath as CM today
Punjab Elections: Amarinder Singh to take oath as CM today

Chandigarh : Amarinder Singh was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Punjab on Thursday. He was administered oath of office and secrecy by Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore at an impressive ceremony at the Punjab Raj Bhawan.

This is the second time that Amarinder, 75, has become Chief Minister of the state. He earlier held the office from 2002 to 2007.

Those likely to be inducted as ministers include cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, industrialist Rana Gurjit Singh and former Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal.

Other names likely to be included on Thursday are that of Razia Sultana, who is from the minority Muslim community, and Aruna Chaudhary. 

Also likely to be included are Amarinder's loyalists and senior Congress leaders Brahm Mohindra and Rakesh Pandey.

The Congress, which swept the Punjab assembly elections, on Sunday formally elected Amarinder Singh as the head of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP). Amarinder later met the governor and staked claim to form the next government in the state.

This is the second time Amarinder will become Chief Minister of the state. He had remained Chief Minister from 2002-2007 previously.

Amarinder has opted for a low-key swearing-in ceremony keeping in mind the financial health of the state.

The low-key swearing-in opted for by Amarinder, who comes from the royal family of Patiala, is in sharp contrast to the crores of rupees spent by his predecessor Parkash Singh Badal for his own swearing-in gala public events in 2007 and 2012.

The Punjab government is believed to be under a massive debt of over Rs 200,000 crore, as per the claims of the Congress leaders during the election campaign.

Amarinder has requested all the newly-elected MLAs to also keep their personal invitations to the bare minimum to keep the ceremony simple.

The Congress swept the Punjab assembly elections in the results declared on Saturday, winning 77 out of 117 seats. The party returned to power after a decade.