Bhagwant Mann to take oath as CM on March 16
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Bhagwant Mann is set to take oath as Punjab's Chief Minister on March 16 at Khatkar Kalan, freedom fighter Bhagat Singh's native village near Nawanshahar. Notably, Bhagat Singh and BR Ambedkar are key figures in AAP's ideology. Mann has invited AAP's National Convener and Delhi CM, Arvind Kejriwal, along with senior party leaders from Delhi to his swearing-in ceremony.
Mann met Punjab's Governor Banwarilal Purohit Saturday to submit AAP MLAs' letter of support and stake a claim to form the government. Speaking to reporters after meeting the governor, Mann said he informed Purohit the swearing-in ceremony will be held in Khatkar Kalan at 12:30pm on March 16. "We will have a good cabinet...historic decisions, never made before, will be taken," he told reporters.
AAP has won 92 of the 117 seats in the Punjab Assembly, emulating its success in Delhi where it won over 60 out of 70 seats in two consecutive Assembly elections. It annihilated the Congress, BJP, and SAD-BSP alliance in Punjab this time, and its candidates defeated several stalwarts—including outgoing CM Charanjit Singh Channi, SAD patriarch Parkash Singh Badal, and former CM Amarinder Singh.
Initially, only about half of the Punjab cabinet ministers would reportedly be taking oath along with Mann next week. Those being considered for the March 16 swearing-in ceremony include 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.
Interestingly, 82 of 92 MLAs elected from AAP in Punjab are first-timers and many of them hail from humble backgrounds—including the son of a cycle mechanic and a mobile repairer—while there are also professionals such as doctors and lawyers. According to Indian Express, the party is also discussing potential candidates for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections for five seats scheduled for March 31.