PunjabPollResults | Capt. Amarinder Singh to officially be the CM on March 16

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Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh will take oath as Chief Minister on March 16.

On Sunday, he met Governor V.P. Singh Badnore here and staked claim to form a government, after being unanimously elected leader of the Congress Legislature Party.

“We have been invited [to form the government] and the swearing-in ceremony will take place on March 16,” Capt. (Retd) Amarinder said.

“A few Cabinet members will also take their oath of office,” he said, though he did not give any names. He would visit New Delhi to meet Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on March 14.

Rahul to decide on Sidhu

To a question on Navjot Singh Sidhu’s role in the new Congress dispensation, he said the decision rested with Mr. Gandhi.

Governor Badnore ordered the dissolution of the current Punjab Assembly, paving the way for the formation of the new government.

Asha Kumari, AICC secretary in charge of Punjab party affairs, told press persons that the newly elected MLAs passed a one line resolution authorizing Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi to take a decision on the new CLP leader.

“I called up Mr. Gandhi to apprise him of the CLP decision … I informed the MLAs that Mr. Gandhi had proposed the name of Capt. Amarinder as the new CLP leader. The Congress MLAs then unanimously elected Capt. Amarinder their leader by a show of hands,” she said.

Ashok Gehlot, head of the Congress screening committee for Punjab elections, and Harish Chaudhary, AICC secretary, were present.

Regional politics

Earlier in Patiala, Capt. Singh took a dig at the Aam Aadmi Party, saying the absence of a regional face was one of reasons for the drubbing the party received.

Capt. Amarinder said it was important to promote regional leaders to counter the regional parties in the States.

“It was vital to project a regional face that could identify with the people of the region,” he said.

The Congress leader ruled out any vendetta politics by his government, saying proper investigations would be conducted into the rampant drug problem and other crimes, and suitable action taken against the guilty.

On the controversial water sharing issue of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal, he stressed need to first ascertain the quantum of water available with Punjab.