Mohali, Mar 14 (ANI): Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday congratulated Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) stalwart Parkash Singh Badal after he was sworn in as the chief minister of Punjab for a record fifth time.
"I congratulate the people of Punjab. They have created a history. I extend my greetings to Badal sahab and his whole team. I also congratulate the people the BJP unit in Punjab," Modi told the media here after the swearing-in-ceremony.
Punjab Governor Shivraj V. Patil administered the oath of office to Badal at the historic Chapar Chiri Banda Bahadur Memorial in Fatehgarh Sahab District.
Eighty-five-year-old Badal, who led the SAD-BJP combine to a thumping win in the Punjab assembly polls, had earlier headed two full five-year terms from 1997 and 2007. His other terms were in 1977-1980 and 1970-71.
His son Sukhbir was sworn in as the deputy chief minister of the state. 16 other cabinet rank ministers, including four from the BJP, also took the oath of office.
BJP leaders L K Advani and Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister Praful Patel, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Sharad Yadav and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief Om Parkash Chautala were present on the occasion along with a host of other leaders.
The SAD-BJP combine returned to power by defying the expected anti-incumbency factor.
The SAD-BJP combine won 68 of the 117 seats with the SAD securing 56 seats and the BJP 12 seats. The Congress won 46 seats, while others won three.
Badal entered politics in 1947 and was first elected to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in 1957. He was re-elected in 1969 serving as Minister for Community Development, Panchayati Raj, Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries.
He has served as Punjab Chief Minister for three terms the first time in 1969 when he became the youngest Chief Minister of an Indian state. He was Leader of the Opposition in 1972, 1980 and 2002. (ANI)
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