Punjab Chief Minister-elect Bhagwant Mann on Friday left for New Delhi where he is scheduled to meet Aam Aadmi Party’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal. “I am going to Delhi to meet the founder of our party Arvind Kejriwal,” said Mann before leaving from Sangrur to Delhi.
The AAP had a landslide win in the Punjab Assembly polls by winning 92 seats to form its government in the state with a three-fourth majority in the 117-member legislative assembly. Stating that the date of the oath-taking ceremony will be announced by this evening, the chief minister-elect also took a dig at horse-trading politics. “We can call our legislative party meeting anytime we want. We don’t have to rush or worry as our MLAs are honest they are not running away to other states,” Mann said.
Mann, who won from Dhuri assembly constituency in Sangrur disrict by a margin of 58,206 votes, yesterday had announced that the oath taking ceremony will be held at Khatkar Kalan in Nawanshahr district, the ancesteral village of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. “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 on Thursday after he won from Dhuri constituency.
In the election results which were declared yesterday, the ruling Congress managed to secure 18 seats while Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ended up with two seats. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) bagged three seats while Bahujan Samaj Party managed to win a solitary seat. Punjab witnessed a multi-cornered contest with key players being Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Shiromani Akali Dal-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance, and the coalition of Bharatiya Janata Party-former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s Punjab Lok Congress and SAD (Sanyukt) led by SS Dhindsa. Congress’ Charanjit Singh Channi, Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Singh Badal, Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu all lost to AAP candidates.
In the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls, Congress won 77 seats whereas Shiromani Akali Dal could win only 15 seats, BJP netted three and independent candidates won two seats. AAP had emerged as the second-largest party with 20 seats.