Parkash Singh Badal creates two records in one go

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Parkash Singh Badal
Chandigarh, Mar 14: Eighty five-year-old SAD leader Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday created two records in one go by becoming the Chief Minister of Punjab for the fifth time and the first in the reorganised state’s history to return to power for the second successive tenure heading the SAD-BJP alliance ministry.

Badal was sworn in today by Governor Shivraj V Patil as Chief Minister for a record fifth time after the party in alliance with BJP broke the 46-year old record of reorganised Punjab and became the first government to return to power for the second successive term.

The veteran Akali leader was sworn in as Chief Minister at Chapar Chiri Banda Bahadur Memorial in Ajitgarh district, about 25 km from here, today to surpass his earlier record of holding the post for the fourth time five years back.

Badal Senior headed full two five-year terms in 1997 and 2007. His other terms were between 1977-1980 and 1970-71.

Gopi Chand Bhargava and Partap Singh Kairon of the Congress had held the post thrice. Bhargava was Chief Minister in 1947, 1949 and 1964, while Kairon headed the regime in 1956, 1957 and 1962.

The SAD-BJP alliance got absolute majority in the 117-member state Assembly winning 68 (SAD-56, BJP 12) seats following the elections held on January 30 last.

The opposition Congress, which was aiming to form the government, failed to achieve the magical number of 59, winning only 46 seats – 13 short of the required numbers.

Badal won from his traditional Lambi seat defeating his cousin Mahesh Inder Singh Badal, who was put up by the opposition Congress. It was for the third time that two Badal’s were against each other with Parkash Singh Badal repeatedly defeating his cousin. This time he also had his younger brother Gurdas as an opponent.

PTI

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