Venkaiah Naidu to represent Modi at Nitish’s oath ceremony, 9 CMs to be present

Prime Minister Narendra Modi accepted the invitation of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to be present at the swearing-in ceremony of his new government on November 20, but will not be able to make it to the event due to prior engagements.

Kumar talked to the PM over telephone and extended his invitation for the oath-taking function at Gandhi Maidan at 2 PM on November 20, sources in the Chief Minister’s office said. The PM has decided to depute Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu to represent the Union Government at the ceremony on Friday, which would be a gala event with Chief Ministers of nine states attending it.

Bihar BJP vice-president Sanjay Mayukh told PTI that due to his “prior fixed programmes” the PM would not be able to attend the ceremony. He said Venkaiah Naidu and Minister of State (Independent Charge) Rajiv Pratap Rudy would represent the Union government at the swearing-in function.

The Chief Minister’s Office tonight released a list of guests attending the November 20 ceremony, which includes Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, former PM H D Devegowda, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, his National Conference counterpart Farooq Abdullah and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. The official guest list has names of nine Chief Ministers, including West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal and UP CM Akhilesh Yadav.

In a bid to showcase the Bihar victory on a large scale, six CMs of Congress ruled states would attend the swearing in function at Gandhi Maidan on Friday. They include Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, Assam CM Tarun Gogoi, Sikkim CM P K Chamling, Manipur CM O Ibobi Singh and Arunachal Pradesh CM Nabam Tuki.