After a historic win in the Gujarat Assembly elections last week, Narendra Modi was sworn in as the state's chief minister in the presence of several top politicians on Wednesday.
Modi took oath at a grand ceremony at the Sardar Patel Stadium, where tight security arrangements were put in place. Among the BJP leaders attending the function were LK Advani, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu and Nitin Gadkari, who for the past several months has not been on the best terms with Modi.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa also flew down to Ahmedabad to witness Modi take oath as CM for the fourth time. Modi had attended Jayalalithaa's swearing-in ceremony, which marked the return of her party, AIADMK, to power in 2011.
The absence of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar was taken into regard considering that his party Janata Dal (United) is among BJP's major allies in the NDA, reported NDTV.
Kumar kept mute on Modi's victory in the recent Assembly elections which reports said might have been 'deliberate'. No representatives from the party are expected to attend Modi's swearing-in function.
"When Nitish Kumar, leading the NDA registered landslide win in Bihar assembly polls in 2010 securing 206 seats out of total 243 marking 86 per cent of the seats Narendra Modi had not congratulated him," sources close to Kumar told PTI.
Top leaders of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are also said to have given the event a miss, despite Modi's attempts to reach out to the party by making a stop at its headquarters in Maninagar last week.
Meanwhile, Modi's swearing-in is likely to see the reinstatement of several of his ministers in the government. Anandiben Patel, Nitin Patel, Saurabh Patel and Ramanlal Vora may swear in as cabinet ministers, reported NDTV.
Modi's landslide victory on Thursday earned him 115 seats in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly. He had previously taken oath as head of the government in 2001, 2002 and 2007.