‘Rang De Basanti’ moment at Bhagwant Mann’s oath ceremony in Khatkar Kalan - Hindustan Times
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‘Rang De Basanti’ moment at Bhagwant Mann’s oath ceremony in Khatkar Kalan

By, Jalandhar
Mar 17, 2022 01:15 AM IST

Thousands of AAP volunteers wearing yellow (basanti) turbans and stoles, attended the oath-taking ceremony of Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann at Khatkar Kalan

Filled with enthusiasm and hope for a change, thousands of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) volunteers wearing yellow (basanti) turbans and stoles, attended the oath-taking ceremony of Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann at Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, in SBS Nagar on Wednesday.

Supporters attend the oath-taking ceremony of chief minister Bhagwant Mann at Khatkar Kalan in SBS Nagar on Wednesday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
Supporters attend the oath-taking ceremony of chief minister Bhagwant Mann at Khatkar Kalan in SBS Nagar on Wednesday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)

The AAP workers along with the common man came from all across the state. They came along with their MLAs or party office-bearers at the function. The entire pandal was jam-packed while a large number of volunteers were standing out of the pandal site. Some were sitting on the roofs of buses. A lot of AAP workers were seen wearing T-shirts with pictures of Bhagat Singh. Many volunteers said they bought yellow turban especially for the event. Langars were set up for the locals and also for devotees going to Anandpur Sahib to attend Hola Mohalla. The area reverberated with ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ and songs from Bhagat Singh’s movies.

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Besides Mann’s mother Harpal Kaur, his son Dilshan and daughter Seerat, who flew from the US, attended the event. A large number of Punjabi singers and writers, including Shamsher Sandhu, Binnu Dhillon and Kamal Heer, attended the ceremony.

A police official said the swearing-in got delayed as there was a delay in clearance of choppers due to foggy weather. Some people were expecting a furious speech from the Punjab chief minister, but the Mann kept it quite simple.

Around 15 AAP volunteers led by Fatta Wangra from Kasaragod in Kerala travelled to Punjab specially for the event. While talking to the media, Wangra said they arrived to be part of AAP’s historic moment.

Gurdev Singh from Mandi Gobindgarh said, “We are hopeful that the AAP government will bring a change and curb the drug menace and remove corruption from the system.”

Balwinder Singh from Zira said, “Earlier, oaths were taken in Raj Bhawan, but we are happy that we became part of the historic moment.”

Rajwinder Singh of Faridkot said, “The Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress colluded with the each other and saved culprits of the Bargari sacrilege and police firing cases. The people of Malwa know their politics, that’s why they faced a total rout in the region. We are hopeful that justice will be done in the sacrilege cases.”

Kulwinder Singh of Dera Baba Nanak said, “We are hopeful that this government will improve the education and health services.”

Sidelights

Long traffic snarls

After the oath-taking ceremony ended, long traffic snarls were witnessed on the national highway with sudden flow of vehicles. The Roadways and PRTC buses were used to ferry AAP volunteers for the ceremony.

In full strength

Newly elected AAP legislators were present in full strength at the oath-taking ceremony along with their family members. Aman Arora, Harpal Singh Cheema, Neena Mittal and Jai Kishan Rori were among the early birds. They were all seated in the first row. When Cheema and Arora met, they hugged each other.

Delayed by an hour

Bhagwant Mann’s election campaign anthem and a popular Punjabi song, “Tere yaar nu dabban nu firde si, par dabda kithe aa”, was played repeatedly at the venue as the swearing-in ceremony got delayed by about an hour. The AAP leader had used the song during his poll campaign in 2019 and 2022.

Massive turnout enthuses Cheema

Dirba MLA Harpal Singh Cheema, who was Leader of Opposition in the previous assembly, was enthused by the turnout. As people cheered him, he waived at them and kept flashing the victory sign. The senior AAP leader also used his phone to take their pictures.

Scribes make the most of it

The delay in swearing-in ceremony was a blessing for some TV and web journalists. They made the most of it by interviewing singers and artists at the event. Among those present were Gurdas Maan, singer-turned-politician and Congress MP Mohammad Sadique and Karamjit Anmol. They, too, did not seem to mind. Gurdas Mann said, “May god give them strength, power and capability to make Punjab a prosperous state. It’s the beginning… winning 92 seats is a big achievement.”

Mann at his witty best

Known for his sarcasm and wit, Bhagwant Mann was restrained in his short speech. But he did give a taste of it in the end. “Huqumat woh karte hain jinka dillon pe raj hota hai, yun toh murge ke sar pe bhi taaz hota hai,” he said to claps before winding up his address.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    A staff correspondent, based in Jalandhar covers Doaba Region of Punjab. Reports about Punjab Police, Enforcement Directorate, politics, corruption, legal, rural areas, socio-economic issues and technical education besides having specialisation in the investigative stories.

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