Badal to be sworn as Punjab CM on March 14

Akali veteran Parkash Singh Badal will be sworn in as Punjab Chief Minister on March 14.

Chandigarh: Akali veteran Parkash Singh Badal
will be sworn in as Punjab Chief Minister on March 14 for a
record fifth time with the SAD-BJP combine on Friday jointly
electing the 85-year-old leader to head the state for a second
consecutive term.

Governor Shivraj Patil invited Badal to form the new
government for which the swearing-in ceremony will be held
next Wednesday.

At a joint meeting here, SAD-BJP MLAs elected Badal as
their leader, a day after the Shiromani Akali Dal legislators
named him as leader of their legislaure party.

Badal`s name was proposed by BJP state chief Ashwani
Sharma and seconded by SAD President Sukhbir Badal.

BJP leaders present at today`s meeting included incharge
of Punjab affairs Shanta Kumar and Leader of the Opposition in
Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.

After the meeting, Badal accompanied by his son and SAD
president, Sukhbir, BJP Legislature Party Leader Bhagat Chuni
Lal, Ashwani Sharma, Shanta Kumar and SAD General Secretary
Daljeet Singh Cheema went to the Punjab Raj Bhawan and handed
over a copy of the resolution electing Badal as the leader of
SAD-BJP Legislature Party to Patil.

The Governor then handed over a letter inviting Badal to
form the government which would be sworn in on March 14 at
Chapar Chiri Banda Bahadur Memorial in Ajitgarh district,
about 50 km from here.

SAD created history in the state in 46 years since Punjab
was reorganised in 1966 by becoming the first party ever to
retain power in alliance with the BJP with an improved tally
of 68 seats against 67 which the two parties secured five
years back in 2007.

The SAD-BJP alliance got absolute majority in the 117-
member state Assembly whereas the opposition Congress, which
was hoping to defeat the ruling combine, failed to achieve the
magic figure of 59, winning only 46 seats.

After the SAD-BJP alliance retained power on Tuesday
there was some speculation that Badal Sr will hand over power
to his son Sukhbir. Badal senior headed full two five-year
terms from 1997 and 2007. His other terms were in 1977-1980
and 1970-71.