Ten ministers of the new Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab were sworn today. They took charge in the Punjab Civil Secretariat, and will participate in the first cabinet meeting of the new government at 12.30 pm.
The new ministers are: Harpal Singh Cheema, two-time MLA from Dirba; Baljit Kaur, MLA from Malout and daughter of former AAP MP Sadhu Singh; Harbhajan Singh ETO, MLA from Jandiala; Vijay Singla, MLA from Mansa; Lal Chand Kataruchak, MLA from Bhoa; Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, two-time MLA from Barnala and chief of AAP youth wing; Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, MLA from Ajnala; Laljit Singh Bhullar, MLA from Patti; Brahm Shankar Jimpa, MLA from Hoshiarpur, and Harjot Singh Bains, the youngest minister in the new government and MLA from Anandpur Sahib.
There are 18 berths in the cabinet, including the new Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
On March 16, Mr Mann was sworn in as Chief Minister at a mega event in Punjab’s Khatkar Kalan, his ancestral village. The next day, all newly-elected MLAs took oath as members of the assembly. The legislators were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Protem Speaker Inderbir Singh Nijjar.
“Sworn-in as MLA in Punjab Vidhan Sabha. The Aam Aadmi Party government will bring a new change in Punjab for which the people have chosen us. Our government will be known as the most honest government of Punjab,” Mr Mann had tweeted.
In his first official decision as Chief Minister, Mr Mann, who had promised that he would not “waste a day”, announced the launch of an anti-corruption helpline. He said the helpline number will be launched on March 23, the death anniversary of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
The AAP registered a landslide victory in recent Punjab assembly polls, winning 92 seats, pushing most of its rivals to the margins. Congress won 18 seats in the 117-member assembly.
In what was earlier being seen as a fierce multi-cornered fight, Congress was dislodged to second place in Punjab, losing over half its vote share, and Akalis in single digits as well.