Amid wave of ‘basanti’, Mann takes oath in Bhagat Singh’s ancestral village

Amid a wave of ‘basanti’ and chants of ‘Rang de Basanti’, a revolutionary song, AAP leader and Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who donned his traditional ‘basanti’ turban, took oath of office on Wednesday in this village of legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, who laid down his life for the country’s Independence, amidst a mass gathering of some 400,000 audience.

Mann, a former comedian, 48, replacing Congress’ Charanjit Channi as the Chief Minister, became Punjab’s youngest CM in nearly four decades.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit administered the oath of office and secrecy to Mann. After the oath-taking, which was delayed by an hour, Mann in his address said he along with all the residents of the state also took oath as Chief Ministers. “You all will be the Chief Ministers,” he said.

Mann will assume office in the evening, while the newly elected legislators will be administered oath during the one-day Vidhan Sabha session to be held in the state capital on Thursday.

However, Mann’s cabinet will take oath on Saturday at the Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh.

Harpal Cheema, Aman Arora, Baljinder Kaur, Meet Hayer, Sarvjeet Kaur Manuke and Budh Ram, all second-time legislators, are likely on the list of Mann’s cabinet.

At the oath-taking venue, three podiums were set up on the stage. While the Governor and Mann were on the central podium, the second was occupied by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet, and the third by AAP’s 91 legislators.

“The golden ray of sun has brought a new dawn on Wednesday,” said Mann ahead of taking oath.

In a tweet, Mann said, “The golden ray of sun has brought a new dawn today. To realize the dreams of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Baba Saheb, the whole of Punjab will take oath today at Khatkar Kalan.”

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is all set to herald a new ‘Inquilab’ or revolutionary spirit, this is what the party that came to power in Punjab by sweeping the assembly polls with a three-fourth majority is indicating by holding the oath-taking ceremony in Khatkar Kalan.

The BJP has also made efforts to invoke the legendry freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.

In 2015, donning ‘basanti’ turban, Narendra Modi became the second prime minister to visit Hussainiwala in Punjab’s Ferozepur district.

Hussainiwala is the place where the last rites of the three freedom fighters were held after they were hanged in Lahore on March 23, 1931.

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