Bhupinder Singh Hooda was sworn-in as Chief Minister of Haryana for a second straight term on Sunday in Chandigarh and the Congress leader was directed by the Governor to prove within a week his majority on the floor of the Assembly.
A day after the Congress leadership opted for status quo on the chief ministership in the backdrop of a decline in party's strength in the Assembly, Hooda(62) was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Jagannath Pahadia at the Raj Bhawan. Hooda took the oath of secrecy in Hindi and in the name of God.
No other minister was sworn-in along with Hooda who is expected to constitute his Council of Ministers after he proves his majority. The Congress emerged as the single largest party bagging 40 seats in the 90-member House, but cobbled a majority after securing "unconditional" support of seven independents to cross the half-way mark.
Pitching for status quo, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi last night chose Hooda as head of the Congress Legislature Party, after several rounds of consultations with senior party leaders. The Congress tally came down drastically by 27 seats.
Asked if the seven Independents supporting the Congress will be rewarded with ministerial berths, Hooda said, it was a "hypothetical question and time will tell".
The veteran Jat leader joined the club of six Chief Ministers who had held the post more than once since the formation of Haryana in 1966.
To a question, he said the Haryana Janhit Congress (BL)was once part of "Congress parivar (family) and now our party will welcome if they give unconditional support to us".
The HJC led by Bansi Lal's son and former Congress MP Kuldeep Bishnoi has won six seats. PTI