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Captain Amarinder Singh takes charge as Punjab CM again

Captain Amarinder Singh takes charge as Punjab CM again
Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore administering oath to the new Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh at the Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh on Thursday. Also sworn into the Cabinet was former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu (not in picture), who, as per TV reports, was seen touching Amarinder’s feet after the event. (Photo: PTI)

Chandigarh: Captain Amarinder Singh, who led the Congress to a resounding victory in Punjab, was on Thursday sworn in as the 26th Chief Minister of the state with nine ministers, including Navjot Singh Sidhu, also taking the oath of office.

This is Amarinder Singh’s second stint as Punjab’s Chief Minister. The 75-year-old had led the Congress government from 2002 to 2007.

Governor V.P. Singh Badnore administered the oath at a simple ceremony attended by top party leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh, at the Punjab Raj Bhavan here

Mr Sidhu was inducted into a seven-member Cabinet. Speculation was rife that the cricketer-turned politician would be given the post of Punjab’s deputy Chief Minister, but he was second among the list of ministers to be sworn in. Brahm Mohindra was sworn in as Cabinet minister right after the Chief Minister.

Sporting a black sleeveless jacket adorned with Army medals, Amarinder Singh took the oath in English. The council of ministers has representation from different castes, regions and faiths. While Brahm Mohindra, the senior-most minister after Amarinder Singh, is a Hindu face in the Cabinet, the rest of the Cabinet ministers are Sikhs. State chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal conducted the ceremony attended by a host of prominent leaders, dignitaries, besides family members, friends and relatives of Amarinder Singh and his ministerial colleagues.