ibnlive » Politics

Dec 25, 2007 at 03:47pm IST

Modi sworn in as Gujarat CM for third time

New Delhi: It's time for Narendra Modi's crowning glory after his landslide victory in the Assembly elections.

Two days after Modi led the BJP to a resounding victory in the polls winning 117 of the 182 seats, the two-time Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP's poster boy was sworn in as CM for a third term on Tuesday at a grand swearing-in ceremony at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Gandhinagar amid high-pitched celebrations.

Tens of thousands of BJP supporters cheered as 57-year-old Modi was administered oath of office by Governor Naval Kishore Sharma. It's the fourth successive BJP government in the state that Modi is going to head.

Top BJP leaders, including LK Advani, party President Rajnath Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi, Chief Ministers of NDA-ruled states and NDA leader George Fernandes attended the fucntion. Among other BJP leaders who attended the function included Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu, Arun Jaitley, Jaya Jaitley and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje among others.

AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa, Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal, former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala and Bihar's deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi were also present.

Advani, Rajnath Singh and former Vice-President of India Bhairon Singh Shekhawat were among the first to greet Modi immediately after the swearing-in.

Modi, along with the top BJP leaders, then took a victory lap around the expansive Sardar Patel Stadium as tens of thousands of supporters cheered and shouted slogans for Modi as well as BJP.

Modi was the only one to take oath of office on Tuesday. The oath-taking ceremony took place at the same venue where Modi had taken oath of office in December 2002.

Earlier, there were plans to hold the function in Rajkot, the main city of the Saurashtra region, which was the hub of anti-Modi dissidents in the party. Modi is likely to announce his Cabinet in a day or two.

The swearing-in ceremony was advanced to Tuesday to coincide with the 84th birthday of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The BJP dedicated Modi's swearing-in as a birthday gift for the party patriarch.

On Monday, Narendra Modi had met Governor Nawal Kishor Sharma and submitted the resignation of the state Cabinet, following the expiry of the term of the state government.

While accepting the resignations, Sharma asked Modi to continue as the 'care-taker' chief minister till the new government is formed. The Governor also congratulated Modi for his victory in the state Assembly elections.

On Monday, Modi was unanimously elected leader of the new BJP Legislature Party at a meeting held at the Town Hall in Ahmedabad. Modi's name was proposed by senior leader Vajubhai Vala and seconded by Fakir Vaghela, Mangubhai Patel and Jyotsnaben Somani. All the BJP legislators approved his name for the Chief Ministership by raising their hands.

Later, state BJP President Purshotam Rupala visited the Raj Bhavan and presented a letter to the Governor, asking him to invite Mr Modi to form the new government following his election as the leader of the BJP Legislature Party. The Governor then asked Mr Modi to form the new government.

Addressing the Legislature Party meeting, Modi said it was the need of the hour that "we show large-heartedness towards each and everyone."

"Some people may have failed to see the changing times and the turn of events. It is the demand of the time that we show large-heartedness towards each and everyone," Modi said.

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