After guiding Congress to a thumping victory in the state Assembly polls, senior party leader Captain Amarinder Singh is all set to take oath as the Chief Minister of Punjab on March 16. Talking to media outside Punjab Raj Bhawan here today, he said that he will go to Delhi on March 14 to meet Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and discuss formation of the new government.
The oath taking ceremony will take place on March 16, he said. However, the scion of erstwhile Patiala Royal family refused to comment on the number of ministers who will be part of the new cabinet. He said the Congress government will be accountable to the people of the state.
Amarinder earlier held an official meeting with Governor V P Singh Badnore for staking claims to form the new government in the state.
He was also unanimously elected as Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader by the newly-elected party MLAs in a meeting held at party office here today.
Navjot Singh Sidhu (Amritsar East), Pargat Singh (Jalandhar Cantt), Raj Kumar Verka (Amritsar East) were some of the newly-elected MLAs present at the meeting.
Congress ended the SAD-BJP combine’s ten year regime by registering a thumping win by bagging 77 seats, one short of two-third majority.
Rookie Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) managed to get 20 seats, while SAD-BJP won 18 seats in the state polls. Two seats went into the kitty of AAP’s ally lok Insaf Party (LIP).
The winning margin of Amarinder from Patiala seat was the highest in the 117-member Punjab Assembly. He won convincingly with a margin of 52,407 votes after defeating his nearest rival AAP candidate Balbir Singh.
Congress MLA Raj Kumar Verka, who won from Amritsar West (SC), said the Congress government’s priority will be to end the state’s drug menace which “flourished under the 10-year long regime of SAD-BJP.”
“A road-map has been prepared to end the source of drugs,” he said.
He added that false cases were registered under the Akali regime against politicians belonging to Opposition party under the garb of ending drug menace.
To a question on Badal offering support to new Congress government, Verka said the party did not want Badals’ support as they were already rejected by the people for their atrocities and scams.
Congress MLA from Dera Baba Nanak, Sukhjidner Randhwa said the schemes started by the SAD-BJP regime would continue, adding that “politicisation” of state police would be put to an end.
He added that Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal (SYL) will not be constructed at any cost.