Veteran BJP leader Narendra Modi, who led the party to an unprecedented third-time victory in the State assembly elections (the party’s fifth successive win in the state, in all), was on Wednesday sworn in as Gujarat Chief Minister for the fourth time at a function, which was attended by a galaxy of leaders from the saffron party, and others, including AIADMK chief and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
Modi was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Kamla Beniwal at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, which saw a turnout of 30,000 people. Giant screens were erected across the city to let people watch the ceremony live. “A memorable day. I assure you, we will live up to the faith people have reposed in us,” he tweeted.
Those in attendance at the swearing-in function included BJP chief Nitin Gadkari, senior leaders L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu; Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh, Karnataka CM Jagadish Shettar, Goa CM Manohar Parikkar and Jharkhand Chief Minister, Arjun Munda as well as a number of party MPs.
Jayalalithaa’s presence re-triggered speculation that the AIADMK was gravitating towards the BJP-led NDA in the run-up to the next Lok Sabha elections. BJD supremo and Odisha CM Navin Patnaik, who has, otherwise been coordinating with leaders like Jayalalithaa, was conspicuous by his absence.
RPI leader Ramdas Athawale and INLD leader Om Prakash Chautala were also present.