Former Union home minister and senior Congress leader Shivraj V Patil was sworn in as the Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Administrator on Friday. Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal administered the oath of office and secrecy to Patil at the Punjab Raj Bhawan. Later,he signed separate charge reports,both as Punjab Governor and the Administrator of Union Territory,Chandigarh.
Accompanied by Mudgal,the Governor-designate arrived at a special pandal in a ceremonial procession and took salute from the Punjab Armed Police. The Punjab Police Band played the National Anthem as the National Flag was hoisted. Later,the Governor inspected the Guard of Honour.
Addressing the media after the oath-taking ceremony,Patil said he was happy to be in Punjab and Chandigarh. Heaping praises on Punjab,he said: As far as agriculture is concerned,it is among the top states. The state has very good institutions and its people are very enterprising.
He stressed that he had come to work with the people and the government with a view to create a cooperative atmosphere,focussing on the positive attitudes. Patil took up the new charge in the presence of nearly 80 guests,including 15 of his family members. Among them were a few Congress MLAs from Maharashtra,his son Shailesh Patil,daughter-in-law Dr Archana Patil and their two daughters.
While the Punjab Congress was present in full strength,former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh was conspicuous by his absence. Congress leaders present on the occasion were Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni,Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Rajinder Kaur Bhattal,Punjab Congress president and MP Mohinder Kaypee,Congress MLAs Jassi Khangura,Kewal Dhillon,O P Soni and Balbir Sidhu among others. Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia were present as well.
SAD-BJP,too,had full attendance. Those present included Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal,Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal,former minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia,Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon,Industries Minister Manoranjan Kalia,Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal,Information and Public Relations Minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan,Tourism Minister Hira Singh Gabria,Agriculture Minister Sucha Singh Langah and Forest Minister Tikshan Sud.
Leaders from the Chandigarh unit of BJP and Congress,such as Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee president B B Behl,vice-president Subhash Chawla,BJP chief Sanjay Tandon and senior leaders Yash Pal Mahajan and Satya Pal Jain,were present too,besides the mayor and councillors of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.
Representatives of various associations like the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal marked their attendance. While most associations have their lists of demands ready for the new Governor,they were willing to give him a few more days to know the city well before these are presented to him.
* With camerapersons jostling for a vantage point,the new Governor and UT Administrator was barely able to properly inspect the guard of honour
* The Hummer of Patils son Shailesh was the cynosure of all eyes. Most people were seen admiring the burgundy beauty parked in the Raj Bhawan compound.
* The chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana held a closed-door meeting with the Governor after the swearing-in ceremony
* The outgoing Punjab Governor and UT Administrator,Gen S F Rodrigues (Retd),and his wife Jean Rodrigues were given a warm send-off. The chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana,local leaders and officials were present on the occasion
* With Union Minister and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal being out of country,representing him at the ceremony were his wife and two sons