Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu took oath as the 15th chief minister of Himachal Pradesh on December 11. Soon after he was sworn in, the former Congress state chief said: “We have given 10 guarantees and we will implement them. We will give a transparent and honest government. We will implement the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) in the first cabinet meeting.”
Mukesh Agnihotri, leader of the Opposition in the outgoing assembly, also took oath as the deputy chief minister of Himachal Pradesh.
Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, who came from a humble background but rose through the ranks in the Congress, was chosen as the Chief Minister over the claims of Pratibha Singh and Mukesh Agnihotri – the wife and protégé of Himachal’s six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, an erstwhile royal. There are expectations that the party will have to do a balancing act by offering Pratibha Singh and her son Vikramaditya Singh key seats in the government or the party.
A four-time MLA from the Nadaun constituency in Himachal Pradesh and the head of the Congress’s election committee in the state, Sukhu, who is a law graduate, began his career in student politics and went on to rise to the position of state unit chief. Soon after the announcement, Sukhu promised a clean and honest government. He said it was his responsibility to fulfil the promises made by the party to the people. “We wanted to secure power not merely to be in power. We want to change the system. Give me some time. We need to work hard, struggle to bring in a new system and new thinking,” he said.
Sukhu, whose father was a bus driver, had once sold milk and started his political journey as a student leader. In time, he rose to be part of Team Rahul Gandhi.
“I have risen from a very humble background, it’s a moment of pride that a man like me has been made the Chief Minister,” he told NDTV today. “It is a moment of happiness that a Congress worker was given this opportunity. I thank the Congress and the Gandhi family for this,” he added.