Putting at rest all speculation, Shiromani Akali Dal on Thursday declared that Parkash Singh Badal will remain the chief minister of Punjab, a post he would be holding for a record fifth time.
"I had declared it well in advance that Badal will be the Chief Minister," SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal told reporters at the chief minister's official residence in Chandigarh.
Sukhbir said that the swearing-in ceremony will take place on March 14.
On who all will be inducted in the Badal cabinet, Sukhbir said that a decision to that effect will be taken by the chief minister.
He gave his father the credit for returning the SAD to power. "Under the leadership of (Parkash Singh) Badal, the state performed well and Akalis got victory," he said.
When his attention was drawn on who will become the next deputy chief minister, Sukhbir, who is currently holding the post, said that there was no confusion on the issue.
"Both the SAD and the Bharatiya Janata Party will decide upon the post of deputy chief minister," he added.
He thanked people of Punjab for reposing faith in the policies and programmes of the SAD and said, "The SAD-BJP alliance government will strive to fulfill the dreams of the people of the state.
"It is rule of people that has been retained in Punjab by the electorate," he said, adding that the verdict had sent a clear signal to political parties and leaders that whosoever will perform will lead the government.