For Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Bhagwant Mann’s oath ceremony as Punjab Chief Minister, the village of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh was awash in the colour “Basanti (yellow)” this morning.
Yellow turbans, the trademark of comic-turned-politician Bhagwant Mann, filled the village Khatkar Kalan in response to his call to people to wear “Basanti turbans and dupattas” to his oath. Yellow was the theme of the venue and decor.
Bhagat Singh used to wear turbans of the colour, which came to symbolise revolution.
“We will colour Khatar Kalan in ‘Basanti rang’,” Bhagwant Mann said in a video message inviting the people of Punjab to his swearing in.
Mr Mann, 48, will be the youngest Chief Minister of the state since the 1970s.
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, will be present for the swearing in ceremony of Mr Mann, whom he calls “his younger brother”.
AAP won a landslide victory in Punjab, winning 92 seats in the 117-seat Punjab Assembly and decimating incumbent Congress. Mr Mann won by nearly 60,000 votes in the Dhuri assembly constituency in Sangrur district.
Mr Mann said three crore people would take oath with him.
“On March 16, in Bhagat Singh’s Khatkar Kalan, not just Bhagwant Mann will take the oath and become CM, but along with me all three crore people of Punjab will also become CM. Together we will make Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s Rangla Punjab,” Mr Mann said in a video message.
AAP leader Raghav Chaddha was among the first to share a photo wearing a yellow turban.
Today marks an important day in the history of Punjab as 3 crore Punjabis will together be sworn in as Chief Minister along with @BhagwantMann. Oath to change this corrupt system & to fulfill dreams of Shaheed-E-Azam Bhagat Singh & Babasaheb Ambedkar
Ajj ton har Punjabi CM houga pic.twitter.com/lCPA2gUCJ2
— Raghav Chadha (@raghav_chadha) March 16, 2022
Mr Mann resigned as a Lok Sabha MP yesterday.
Speaking to reporters, he said he was confident about his new role of ruling Punjab. “We know how to run the administration. I have been a member of the (Lok Sabha) for seven years. People have re-elected our government in Delhi. We have the experience,” he said.
“Many veteran politicians have lost the elections, and new people have won. I am sure new ideas will come in the state. There will be out of the box thinking in this government,” he added.
In the AAP storm in Punjab, top Congress leaders, including outgoing Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, lost the election.
Officials expect over three lakh people at the oath. Elaborate security arrangements have been made and nearly 10,000 security personnel are in the village.
Schools in the district are shut today because of the huge gathering.