AAP wins Punjab: Will take oath in Bhagat Singh's ancestral village, not Raj Bhawan, says Bhagwant Mann

ANIUpdated: Thursday, March 10, 2022, 04:13 PM IST
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Bhagwant Mann | PTI

Bhagwant Mann will take oath as Punjab's Chief Minister at the birthplace of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.

Mann, whom the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) fielded as their Chief Ministerial candidate, said that his swearing-in ceremony will be held not at Raj Bhavan but at Khatkar Kalan where the revolutionary freedom fighter was born in 1907.

"I will take CM's oath from Khatkar Kalan, the birthplace of Shaheed Bhagat Singh," said Mann while addressing party workers from the terrace of his Sangrur residence, as his mother emotionally hugged her soon-to-be Chief Minister son.

The AAP is set to sweep the Punjab state, with initial trends in the day showing surge of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party.

Mann, who won from the Sangrur district's Dhuri constituency, also announced that the AAP government in Punjab will not hang his photos on the walls of their offices.

"We will take a decision that the photos of Bhagat Singh and BR Ambedkar will be installed in Government offices instead of mine," said Mann.

The stand-up comedian turned politician added that governance will be done from the villages of Punjab and not from the palatial houses of politicians.

"We have to run Punjab together, earlier Punjab used to be run from the big houses of leaders but not will be run from wards, villages and cities of Punjab," said Mann.

Taking a dig at opposition leaders, the AAP leader said that they "made a personal attack on me and Arvind Kejriwal. Forgive them for that but from now onwards they will have to respect 2.75 crore public of Punjab." According to the Election Commission of India, the AAP has won 20 seats with leading on 71 others at 2:40 PM on the 117 seat Punjab assembly.

As AAP wins Punjab, it will be the party's maiden victory in the state and a vast improvement from its performance in the 2017 elections when it had finished second behind Congress.

The Congress went into the polls, battling factionalism and anti-incumbency. The party changed its Chief Minister in September last year even as the party's new state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu hinted about his own Chief Ministerial ambitions. Congress finally declared Charanjit Singh Channi as the first Dalit Chief Minister of Punjab, endorsing him for the Chief Ministerial face days before the polling on February 20.

The Shiromani Akali Dal, which had broken off the alliance with the BJP over the three farm laws that were eventually repealed, tied up with Bahujan Samaj Party for the Assembly elections.

It is the first time that the BJP fought on over 65 seats in Punjab. It tied up with former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh's Punjab Lok Congress and SAD (Sanyukt) led by SS Dhindsa.

Punjab recorded an average voter turnout of 65.50 per cent on February 20 compared to over 77 per cent in 2017.

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