Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Gets Down To Work After Taking Oath
Bhagwant Mann’s political career began in 2011 with the Manpreet Singh Badal-led People’s Party of Punjab, an offshoot of the Shiromani Akali Dal.
Chandigarh: From a comedian to Punjab Chief Minister, Bhagwant Mann has seen a phenomenal rise in a political career of just over a decade.
Mr Mann on Wednesday was sworn in as chief minister at Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh in Punjab’s Shaheed Bhagat Singh (SBS) Nagar district.
At the mega public event, Mr Mann accepted a huge burden of expectations — his Aam Aadmi Party had swept the assembly polls, winning 92 of the 117 assembly seats. How he runs the show in Punjab will also have a bearing on AAP’s fortunes in the coming years as the party seeks to expand its footprint further across the nation.
Mr Mann, 48, was elected twice as a Member of Parliament from Sangrur parliamentary constituency before his legislative assembly debut this time. He resigned as MP on Monday.
He now becomes the first non-Congress and non-Akali leader to become the Chief Minister after the reorganisation of Punjab in 1966. Inviting people of Punjab to his oath-taking ceremony, Mr Mann told them it will be their government.
Weeks before election day, Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP declared him its Chief Minister face after a phone-in poll, called ‘Janta Chunegi Apna CM’ (people will pick their own CM).
The AAP state unit president was the first choice of over 90 per cent of the 21 lakh callers.
He fought the polls from Dhuri, an assembly segment in his Sangrur parliamentary constituency, winning by a margin of over 58,000.
Born in Sangrur’s Satoj village in October 1973, Mr Mann enrolled for a B Com degree from Shaheed Udham Singh Government College in Sunam in the same district. He didn’t complete the course, but college gave him a chance to take part in several youth festivals.
He later brought out comedy videos and music albums, including the very popular ‘Jugnu Mast Mast’ and ‘Kulfi Garma Garam.’ Appearing in ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ was a high point in his career as an entertainer. Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has now resigned as the Punjab Congress chief, also happened to have made several appearances on the TV show.