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Atal, Advani to attend swearing-in ceremony

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
November 24, 2005 12:10 IST
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Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Bharatiya Janata Party President L K Advani would be amongst the distinguished guests who would be present when Nitish Kumar takes the oath of office and secrecy as the new chief minister of Bihar at 12.30 PM at Gandhi Maiden in Patna on Thursday.

This was disclosed by party Spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra. The two leaders would fly down to Patna on Thursday morning.

Nitish, who was elected leader of the National Democratic Alliance in Patna on Wednesday evening, went to see governor Buta Singh along with Sushil Kumar Modi of the BJP, who would take over as the deputy chief minister in the new dispensation, and other senior leaders of the BJP and the Janata Dal (United) to stake the claim for forming the government in Bihar.

Later, Buta invited Nitish to form the government and the time for swearing in was fixed according to the convenience of the chief minister-in-waiting.

"I do not know about others who would be present during the swearing-in ceremony but Atalji and Advaniji would definitely be there. Sharad Yadav of the JDU, party Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley are already there," Malhotra said.

Though invitations have been extended to former chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, it is not yet known whether or not they would be able to make it to Patna for the ceremony.

Sources said eight Janata Dal ministers, including the chief minister Nitish Kumar, would take the oath while four ministers including Sushil Modi from the BJP would be sworn in by Governor Buta Singh.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi