A host of senior Congress leaders, including party vice president Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, will grace the swearing-in ceremony of Captain Amarinder Singh as the new chief minister of Punjab on Thursday morning.
Captain Amarinder will be sworn in along with nine cabinet ministers at the Punjab Raj Bhavan here at 10 a.m. Punjab Governor V.P Singh Badnore will administer the oath of office to all ten.
Besides Rahul and Dr. Singh, former Union Ministers Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibal, Ashwani Kumar and Rajeev Shukla, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder S. Hooda, former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and AICC secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs Asha Kumari are expected to attend the event.
The ceremony will be a simple and low-key affair, with Captain Amarinder deciding not to spend excessively on symbolism on account of the poor financial health of the state. The Chief Minister designate has also appealed to all party MLAs and others not to indulge in excessive celebration and to keep the event austere so as not to further burden the debt-ridden state exchequer.
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president and CLP leader said his government’s priority would be to bring the state’s economy, which had been completely devastated under the SAD-BJP regime, back on the rails through every possible measure and innovative, out-of-the-box initiatives. "We do not want to celebrate when the people of Punjab are suffering due to severe financial and other problems,” he said, adding that there will be time enough to celebrate once his government has brought the state back on the path of growth and development.