After steering the Congress to a stupendous victory, Amarinder Singh on Thursday took oath as Punjab chief minister. 75-year-old Amarinder was sworn in as the state’s 26th chief minister along with nine ministers, including Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Sidhu’s supporters were confident about the leader taking over the post of the Deputy CM. However, many senior Congress leaders remain to wait to see if the top brass of the party just hands over the position of Captain Amarinder Singh’s first mate to the late entrant Sidhu. But late in the evening, Sidhu has been alloted local government, tourism and cultural affairs, archives and Museums ministry in the newly oath Punjab’s Amarinder government.
Sidhu will get office on the fourth floor of the Punjab secretariat and not on the all-important fourth floor where the CM and all senior ministers have their offices.
Undoubtedly it is a huge setback for the cricketer-turned-politician who had hoped that he will be suitably rewarded for joining the Congress after resigning as BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP.
Sidhu had earlier remained Member of Parliament (MP) from Amritsar when he was part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was elected MP in 2004, 2007 (by-election) and 2009.
He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the Narendra Modi government in April 2016.
Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh took charge of his new office at the Punjab Secretariat in Chandigarh amid multi-religious prayers. The second floor office of Punjab’s 26th chief minister reverberated with the chanting of sacred hymns from the Bhagwad Gita, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Quran and the Bible as he entered it along with several of his newly inducted ministerial colleagues, MLAs and associates.
After assuming charge, Amarinder said he was committed to fulfilling all his electoral promises and his government would take several important decisions at its first cabinet meeting scheduled on Saturday.
He reiterated his promise to constitute a Special Task Force (STF) to wipe out the drug menace from the state within four weeks, as promised in the Congress poll manifesto.