Sunday, Sep 25, 2022

Bhagwant Mann Sworn-in As Punjab CM In Bhagat Singh's Village: All You Need To Know

Comedian-turned AAP leader Bhagwant Mann was sworn in as the Punjab chief minister on Wednesday after the party won a landslide victory in the recent Assembly Polls, wresting the state from Congress.

AAP leader Bhagwant Mann takes oath as Punjab Chief Minister.
AAP leader Bhagwant Mann takes oath as Punjab Chief Minister. (PTI Photo)

AAP leader Bhagwant Mann was sworn in as the Punjab chief minister on Wednesday.

Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit administered the oath of office and secrecy to Mann in the swearing-in ceremony that took place at Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh in Punjab's Shaheed Bhagat Singh (SBS) Nagar district.

Besides the newly-elected AAP MLAs, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, Delhi minister Satyendar Jain, and other leaders were also present in bright yellow turbans.

Mann's first speech as Punjab CM

The 48-year-old Mann, who took the oath in Punjabi, also delivered a brief address after the ceremony.

In his first speech after becoming the chief minister, Mann assured the people of the state that his party's government in Punjab will work to address issues like unemployment, corruption and farmers' plight.

“The work will start from today itself. We will not waste even a single day. We are already late by 70 years,” he said.

He promised that the condition of government schools and hospitals in the state will be improved like it has been done by the AAP government in Delhi. Like people from abroad come to see the improved schools and hospitals in Delhi, they will also come to Punjab, he said.

He also touched upon the issue of youth of Punjab migrating to other countries for greener pastures. Thanking people for attending the oath-taking ceremony in large numbers, Mann said earlier, the swearing-in ceremonies used to take place at cricket stadiums or Raj Bhawans.

"Now this oath-taking ceremony is held at the village of a martyr,” he said, adding that Khatkar Kalan was not new for him as he had visited it many times.

“Bhagat Singh had dreamt of freedom and the AAP is fighting to take that freedom to the common people,” he said. However, Bhagat Singh was concerned about who would take over the reins of the country once it got free.

“His (Bhagat Singh) concern proved to be right,” said Mann, adding that those who ruled the country for 70 years did nothing.

"To love is the birthright of everyone, why not make your country your beloved," Mann said quoting Bhagat Singh as he asked the people to "love the country's soil".

Thanking people for the huge mandate given to the AAP, Mann said, “We are amongst you and we will remain like this.” He said the people of Punjab have created history.

"In the coming years, it will be taught in schools that people voted without any fear or greed on February 20, 2022 (Punjab election),” said Mann on the huge mandate given to the AAP. He specially thanked Kejriwal, saying the AAP is improving the country's politics.

He also advised AAP volunteers not to be arrogant or use objectionable language against anyone. Mann said his government will also work for those who did not vote for the AAP. Meanwhile, a number of singers and artists, including Gurdas Mann, Karamjit Anmol, singer-turned-politician and Congress MP Mohammad Sadique, and Amar Noorie, were present at the event.

Elaborate arrangements were made for the ceremony which was attended by AAP supporters from various parts of the state. The men were wearing yellow turbans while women draped a yellow 'dupatta'.

Mann had invited the people of the state to attend his swearing-in ceremony, saying the three crore people of Punjab will also take oath with him.

The atmosphere was surcharged with enthusiasm and patriotic fervour as the people raised slogans of 'Inquilab Zindabad' (long live revolution) and 'Bole So Nihaal'.

Tight security arrangements were made for the event. A supporter, who came from Mann's Satoj village in Sangrur said, “We have high expectations from him and he will definitely live up to them. The way Kejriwal did good work in Delhi, Mann will also do the same in Punjab."

When Mann was leaving for Khatkar Kalan from Mohali earlier in the day, a few of his supporters showered flower petals on his vehicle and congratulated him.

"I am very happy that my brother (Mann) is going to be the CM. We are very happy about it, said a woman supporter in Mohali.

The AAP romped home winning 92 seats in the 117-member Punjab Assembly, decimating the Congress and the SAD-BSP combine. PTI CHS VSD RHL
 Bhagwant Mann: Now CM, former comedian gets down to serious business.

Who is Bhagwant Mann?

From a comedian to Punjab chief minister, Bhagwant Mann has seen a phenomenal rise in a political career of just over a decade.

Mann on Wednesday was sworn in as chief minister at Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh in Punjab's Shaheed Bhagat Singh (SBS) Nagar district.

At the mega public event, Mann accepted a huge burden of expectations -- his Aam Aadmi Party had swept the assembly polls, winning 92 of the 117 assembly seats. How he runs the show in Punjab will also have a bearing on AAP's fortunes in the coming years as the party seeks to expand its footprint further across the nation.

Mann, 48, was elected twice as a Member of Parliament from Sangrur parliamentary constituency before his legislative assembly debut this time. He resigned as MP on Monday. He now becomes the first non-Congress and non-Akali leader to become the CM after the reorganisation of Punjab in 1966. Inviting people of Punjab to his oath-taking ceremony, Mann told them it will be their government. Weeks before election day, Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP declared him its CM face after a phone-in poll, called 'Janta Chunegi Apna CM' (people will pick their own CM).

The AAP state unit president was the first choice of over 90 per cent of the 21 lakh callers. He fought the polls from Dhuri, an assembly segment in his Sangrur parliamentary constituency, winning by a margin of over 58,000.

Born in Sangrur's Satoj village in October 1973, Mann enrolled for a B Com degree from Shaheed Udham Singh Government College in Sunam in the same district. He didn't complete the course, but college gave him a chance to take part in several youth festivals.

He later brought out comedy videos and music albums, including the very popular 'Jugnu Mast Mast' and 'Kulfi Garma Garam.'

Appearing in ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ was a high point in his career as an entertainer. Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has now resigned as the Punjab Congress chief, also happened to have made several appearances on the TV show.

Mann’s political career began in 2011 with the Manpreet Singh Badal-led People's Party of Punjab, an offshoot of the Shiromani Akali Dal. The PPP was to merge later with the Congress. Next year, Mann fought from the Lehra assembly constituency in Sangrur as a PPP candidate but lost to senior Congress leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

In 2014, Mann joined the AAP and contested against Akali heavyweight Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa for the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat. He won by over two lakh votes and the AAP itself went on to win four Lok Sabha seats in Punjab.

Mann unsuccessfully contested the 2017 assembly polls against Shiromani Akali Dal's Sukhbir Singh Badal for the Jalalabad seat. But the AAP won 20 seats in the Punjab Assembly, ending up as the state's main opposition party. Mann was made its state unit president.

He resigned from the post in 2018 after Kejriwal apologised to Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia in a defamation case but was back in the AAP-fold soon.

Mann won the Sangrur seat again in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with a margin of over one lakh votes. During his career, Mann has been hounded by accusations that he has a drinking problem. In 2016, the then AAP MP Harinder Singh Khalsa complained against him to the Lok Sabha Speaker, seeking a change in his seat. He alleged that Mann, who sat next to him, reeked of liquor.

At a 2019 rally in Barnala, in the presence of Kejriwal and his mother, Mann vowed to give up liquor. Mann had then accused his political rivals of defaming him by portraying him as a born drunkard.

Congratulating Aam Aadmi Party leader Bhagwant Mann on taking oath as Punjab chief minister, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured him that the Centre will work with his government for the state's growth.

"Congratulations to Shri Bhagwant Mann Ji on taking oath as Punjab CM. Will work together for the growth of Punjab and welfare of the state's people," Modi tweeted.

Mann was sworn in as the Punjab chief minister on Wednesday. Governor Banwarilal Purohit administered the oath of office and secrecy to Mann in the swearing-in ceremony that took place at Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.

(With inputs from PTI)