Black Friday deal: Get extra months

Journalism of Courage
Advertisement
Premium

Bhagwant Mann to take oath as Punjab CM on March 16 from Bhagat Singh’s village

Around half of the authorised cabinet strength is initially slated to take oath along with Bhagwant Mann with a mix of old and new MLAs with the former being more in number at present.

Earlier today, Mann visited Delhi and met Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and other senior leaders of the party. (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

The Chief Minister designate, Bhagwant Mann, will take oath of office along with other cabinet ministers on March 16 at Khatkar Kalan, the native village of Bhagat Singh near Nawanshahar.

The senior leadership of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), including National Convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and senior Delhi government ministers, will be in attendance. Bhagat Singh is an important symbol of AAP’s ideology.

🗞️ Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access the best Election reporting and analysis 🗞️

The present Vidhan Sabha will soon be dissolved by the Governor and he has received the recommendation for the same from the Cabinet. He will also issue directions for the constitution of the new Vidhan Sabha. The CM designate, Bhagwant Mann, and Raghav Chadha are also expected to meet the Punjab Governor Saturday morning to stake claim to form the government.

Subscriber Only Stories
Premium
Premium
Premium
Premium

“The term of the 16th Vidhan Sabha will start from the first day of the session of the assembly,” a senior Vidhan Sabha official said.

Around half of the authorised cabinet strength is initially slated to take oath along with Bhagwant Mann with a mix of old and new MLAs with the former being more in number at present. There are a total of 17 cabinet ministers other than the CM when at full strength.

The party is considering Dirba MLA Harpal Singh Cheema, Sunam MLA Aman Arora, Jagraon MLA Sarabjeet Kaur Manuke, Anandpur Sahib MLA Harjot Bains, Rajpura MLA Neena Mittal, Kotkapura MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan and Talwandi Sabo MLA Baljinder Kaur for the swearing in on March 16. Except Neena Mittal, all others are those who were elected in 2017 for the first time. Ten sitting MLAs of the party had been given tickets for the 2022 polls and all have won.

Advertisement

In a future expansion of the cabinet, Amritsar East MLA Jeevanjyot Kaur, Bhadaur MLA Labh Singh Ugoke, Chamkaur Sahib MLA Dr Charanjit Singh, Sangrur MLA Narinder Kaur Bharaj and Kharar MLA Gagandeep Kaur Mann are said to be in reckoning.

Earlier today, Mann visited Delhi and met Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and other senior leaders of the party. He was accompanied by Punjab co-in-charge of the party Raghav Chadha and his sister Manpreet Kaur.

Sources said discussions were also held on the names of the probable cabinet ministers and the forthcoming Rajya Sabha polls for the five seats due to be held on March 31.

Advertisement

A meeting of party MLAs was called in Mohali at a four-star hotel in the afternoon. However, the meeting had to be postponed after a while as Mann was delayed in Delhi.

Speaking to mediapersons at the Mohali airport in the evening after arriving from Delhi, Mann said he has invited Arvind Kejriwal for the oath-taking ceremony. “Before that on March 13 we will go to Amritsar to seek blessings,” he said.

Newly elected MLAs intermingle, identify themselves

With 82 out of the 92 elected MLAs being first timers, even the sitting MLAs of the party had a tough time putting a name to the face.

The MLAs, who proceeded towards the meeting venue, were stopped by the police personnel and allowed to proceed only after identifying themselves.

The MLAs were asked to identify themselves by the mediapersons at the venue who were trying to get their reactions. The new crop of ruling party MLAs come from humble backgrounds as also professionals like doctors and advocates.

Advertisement

Son of a cycle mechanic, Nabha MLA Hardev Singh ‘Dev Mann’, said it was solely due to Arvind Kejriwal that he is an MLA today. “Mere father puncture lagande si. Hun vee lagande ne. Nauvi class tak saanu bacheyan nu poori roti nayi si mildi, je chaar rotiyan chahidian hon ta do mildian si, (my father used to repair punctures. He still does so. Till Class IX we children didn’t have enough food to fill our stomach. If we needed four rotis, we used to get only two),” said an emotional ‘Dev Mann’.

He later went on to earn a degree and worked in Canada as a Radio Jockey. He had a Permanent Resident status in Canada which he gave up to fight the elections. He sang the song he wrote for AAP, “Jhaadu wala button daba deyo Punjabio (press the button with the jhadu symbol).”

Advertisement

Other MLAs who expressed their gratitude to the voters for reposing confidence in them included Harjot Bains from Anandpur Sahib, Dr Charanjit Singh who defeated CM Charanjit Singh Channi in Chamkaur Sahib and former mobile repair shop owner Labh Singh Ugoke, who too defeated Channi in Bhadaur.

Changes in top bureaucracy

The names of V K Singh and Anurag Aggarwal have been said to be under consideration for appointment as Chief Secretary. Singh is presently serving on deputation at the Centre while Anurag Aggarwal is the Principal Secretary, Power.

Advertisement

The party is considering not changing the DGP since V K Bhawra’s name was cleared by UPSC as recently as December and he has been in the chair only at the fag end of the Congress government.

The names of Sarvjeet Singh and A Venu Prasad are among those being considered for the post of Principal Secretary to the CM.

First published on: 11-03-2022 at 06:55:50 pm
Next Story

Apple iPhone SE, iPad Air 5 pre-orders goes live: Check price, offers, details here

Home
ePaper
Next Story
close
X