Leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) Parkash Singh Badal has been sworn in as the Chief Minister of Punjab for a record fifth term.
He will head of an 18-member cabinet, including his son Sukhbir who will continue as his deputy for the second successive term of the SAD-BJP alliance ministry. The state, with a 117-member assembly, can have under the Constitution, an 18-member cabinet, including the chief minister.Notably three senior members of the Trinamool Congress attended the swearing in ceremony. This is especially significant, given that the party boycotted a dinner held by the Prime Minister for all the allies of the UPA government.
The 85-year-old Badal senior had headed two full five-year terms from 1997 and 2007. His other terms were in 1977-1980 and 1970-71.
Only one woman Bibi Jagir Kaur, former President of SGPC, has been included in the ministry though eight women of the alliance (SAD-six, BJP- two) were elected to the assembly.
Fourteen of them belong to Shiromani Akali Dal and the remaining four to its alliance partner BJP.
The Badal family has four members in the cabinet. Besides the father and the son duo, others are Adesh Partap Singh Kairon (son-in-law of Badal senior) and Bikram Singh Majithia (brother-in-law of Sukhbir).
SAD created history in the 46 years history of Punjab by becoming the first party to retain power in alliance with BJP with an improved tally of 68 seats against 67 which the two parties had secured five years back. BJP ended with a tally of 12 legislators as against 19 in the outgoing House.
First Published On : Mar 14, 2012 11:39 IST