After taking oath as Punjab CM, Bhagwant Mann gets down to work

Published on Mar 16, 2022 05:49 PM IST

Aam Aadmi Party leader Bhagwant Mann was sworn in as the Punjab chief minister on Wednesday

Bhagwant Mann assuming charge as the Punjab chief minister in Chandigarh on Wednesday as A Venu Prasad, the additional chief secretary to the CM, looks on. (HT Photo)
Bhagwant Mann assuming charge as the Punjab chief minister in Chandigarh on Wednesday as A Venu Prasad, the additional chief secretary to the CM, looks on. (HT Photo)

Aam Aadmi Party leader Bhagwant Mann was sworn in as the Punjab chief minister on Wednesday.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit administered the oath of office and secrecy to Mann at the swearing-in ceremony that took place at Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh in Punjab’s Shaheed Bhagat Singh (SBS) Nagar district.

Only Mann took the oath during the ceremony.

The event was supposed to start at 12.30pm but got delayed and began at 1.25pm.

Also read: PM Modi congratulates CM Bhagwant Mann

Besides the newly-elected Punjab AAP MLAs, Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, Delhi minister Satyendra Jain, and other leaders wearing yellow turbans were present.

AAP’s Punjab affairs in-charge Jarnail Singh and co-incharge Raghav Chadha also attended the event.

48-year-old Mann, who took the oath in Punjabi, also delivered a brief address after the ceremony.

In his first speech after becoming the chief minister, Mann assured the people of the state that his party’s government in Punjab would work to address issues such as unemployment, corruption and farmers’ plight.

“The work will start from today itself. We will not waste even a single day. We are already late by 70 years,” he said.

He promised that the condition of government schools and hospitals in the state will be improved like it has been done by the AAP government in Delhi.

Like people from abroad come to see the improved schools and hospitals in Delhi, they will also come to Punjab, he said.

He touched upon the issue of youngsters of Punjab migrating to other countries in search of greener pastures.

Thanking people for attending the oath-taking ceremony in large numbers, Mann said earlier, the swearing-in ceremonies used to take place at cricket stadiums or Raj Bhawans. “Now this oath-taking ceremony is held at the village of a martyr,” he said, adding that Khatkar Kalan was not new for him as he had visited it many times.

“Bhagat Singh had dreamt of freedom and the AAP is fighting to take that freedom to the common people,” he said.

However, Bhagat Singh was concerned about who would take over the reins of the country once it got free. “His (Bhagat Singh) concern proved to be right,” said Mann, adding that those who ruled the country for 70 years did nothing.

“To love is the birthright of everyone, why not make your country your beloved,” Mann said quoting Bhagat Singh as he asked the people to “love the country’s soil”.

Expressing gratitude for the huge mandate given to the AAP, Mann said, “We are among you and we will remain like this.” He said the people of Punjab have created history.

“In coming years, it will be taught in schools that people voted without any fear or greed on February 20, 2022 (Punjab election),” said Mann on the huge mandate given to the AAP.

He thanked Kejriwal, saying the AAP is improving the country’s politics.

He also advised AAP volunteers not to be arrogant or use objectionable language against anyone.

Mann said his government will also work for those who did not vote for the AAP.

Meanwhile, a number of singers and artists, including Gurdas Maan, Karamjit Anmol, singer-turned-politician and Congress MP Mohammad Sadique, and Amar Noorie, were present at the event.

Elaborate arrangements were made for the ceremony that was attended by AAP supporters from various parts of the state. The men were wearing yellow turbans, while women draped a yellow dupatta (stole).

Mann had invited people of the state to attend his swearing-in ceremony, saying the three crore people of Punjab will also take oath with him. The atmosphere was surcharged with enthusiasm and patriotic fervour as people raised slogans of Inquilab zindabad (Long live revolution) and Bole So Nihaal.

Tight security arrangements were made for the event.

A supporter, who came from Mann’s Satoj village in Sangrur said, “We have high expectations from him and he will definitely live up to them. The way Kejriwal did good work in Delhi, Mann will also do the same in Punjab.”

When Mann was leaving for Khatkar Kalan from Mohali earlier in the day, a few supporters showered petals on his vehicle and congratulated him. “I’m happy that my brother (Mann) is going to be the CM,” said a woman supporter.

The AAP won 92 seats in the 117-member Punjab assembly, decimating the Congress and the SAD-BSP combine.

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