AAP’s victory in Punjab has catapulted the party to the ranks of a national competitor, and opposition to the ruling BJP at the Centre. Today, on March 16, 2022, AAP’s Bhagwant Mann took oath as Punjab’s 18th Chief Minister. The venue of the swearing-in ceremony – Khatkar Kalan, the birthplace of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh – was also chosen wisely.
Mann, who went from being a comedian to the 18th Punjab CM, was flanked by various top AAP party members from Arvind Kejriwal to Manish Sisodia.
Here are the highlights from Bhagwant Mann’s first speech as the Punjab CM:
1. 'WILL NOT WASTE A SINGLE DAY'
Mann vowed that he and his government will not waste a single day and will start work today itself. He took pot shots at previous Punjab governments saying that they are already 70 years behind on getting to work.
2. MANN REMEMBERS BHAGAT SINGH
Punjab | "Ishq karna sabka paidaishi haq hai kyun na is baar watan ki sarzamin ko mehboob bana liya jaye," says Punjab's new Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann quoting Bhagat Singh after taking oath pic.twitter.com/mWdP6j74Je— ANI (@ANI) March 16, 2022
Honouring the special venue of choice – Khatkar Kalan, Bhagwant Mann said that they are commemorating the people who fought and died for the country. Khatkar Kalan is the birthplace of Bhagat Singh and quoting the freedom fighter, Mann also said, "Ishq karna sabka paidaishi haq hai kyun na is baar watan ki sarzamin ko mehboob bana liya jaye (It is a birthright to love someone; this time, why don’t we make our homeland our beloved)."
3. URGED PEOPLE NOT TO GO ABROAD
पंजाब की ख़ुशहाली और शहीदों के सपनों को पूरा करने के लिए ग्रहण की गई यह बदलाव की शपथ पंजाब को हसता खेलता रंगला पंजाब बनाएगी। शिक्षा, व्यापार, किसानी व रोजगार को शिखरों पर पहुँचाएगी। 'आप' की सरकार, बनाएगी सुनहरा और रंगला पंजाब। pic.twitter.com/uK3DLXTImc— Bhagwant Mann (@BhagwantMann) March 16, 2022
Bhagwant Mann remembering Bhagat Singh said that while he fought for the freedom of the country he was also worried about who would rule it once it was free. Mann said that people were going abroad in droves and urged them to not leave the country. He also promised to get cracking on problems ranging from unemployment, farming to business to ensure they find opportunities in their homeland.
4. 'WILL RESPECT THOSE WHO DIDN'T VOTE FOR AAP TOO'
I appeal to you all ( newly-elected MLAs) to not get arrogant. We have to respect even those who didn't vote for us. I thank you all & AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal: Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann pic.twitter.com/nuGeOq0LjA— ANI (@ANI) March 16, 2022
He also called upon the newly-elected party MLAs and asked them not to get arrogant. Mann added that he won’t diss anyone, and that he and his party people will respect even those who didn’t vote for them.
5. KEJRIWAL CONGRATULATES MANN
पंजाब का मुख्यमंत्री बनने पर भगवंत मान को बहुत बहुत बधाई और शुभकामनायेंमुझे विश्वास है कि आपके नेतृत्व में पंजाब में ख़ुशहाली लौटेगी, खूब तरक़्क़ी होगी और लोगों की समस्याओं का समाधान होगाभगवान आपके साथ है— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 16, 2022
AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal congratulated the new Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann in a tweet saying, “I am sure that under your leadership, prosperity will return to Punjab.”
6. CONGRESS LEADER THANKS MANN
I congratulate @BhagwantMann on being sworn in as Chief MinisterI thank him for inviting me to his swearing in . Due to Parliament being in session I will not be able to make it .It is ironic I was not invited to @CHARANJITCHANNI ‘s swearing in though he was one of my MLA’s pic.twitter.com/AyW91uNyYE— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) March 16, 2022
Congress leader Manish Tewari also congratulated Bhagwant Mann and thanked Mann for inviting him for the swearing-in ceremony. He also took digs at his own party and former Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi for not inviting him to the swearing-in despite Channi being one of his MLAs. Tewari was dropped from Congress's Punjab campaign list ahead of the 2022 assembly elections. There were rumours that he may quit the grand old party, though he said he was not quitting.
Bhagwant Mann resigned as a Lok Sabha MP on March 15, 2022. At 48, he is the youngest Chief Minister of Punjab since the 1970s. Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohi administered the oath to Mann.