Patna: Bihar Chief Minister designate Nitish Kumar on Wednesday extended invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the oath ceremony of his new government on Friday.
Kumar spoke to the PM over telephone and extended his invitation for the oath function at Gandhi Maidan at 2 PM on November 20, sources in the Chief Minister's office said. With the four-day Chhath festival ending this morning, Kumar telephoned prominent leaders personally to invite them for the swearing-in ceremony of the new government. Bihar JD(U) President Basistha Narayan Singh said inviting the Prime Minister was a political etiquette and it was now on him whether to come or not.
On being asked about the invitation, Bihar BJP Vice President Sanjay Mayukh told that PM due to his prior fixed programmes might not be able to attend the ceremony. He said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Minister of State (Independent Charge) Rajiv Pratap Rudy would represent the Union government at the swearing-in function. The PM had congratulated Kumar on the day of the poll results on November 8 over the grand secular alliance's massive victory in Bihar.
The sources in CMO said Kumar had also telephoned Union Home minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and other central ministers and invited them for the oath ceremony. State Congress President Ashok Choudhary told that party Vice President Rahul Gandhi in all likelihood would attend the swearing-in function. Rahul had played an important role in cementing bonds between three parties JD(U), RJD and Congress and also in naming Kumar the CM face of the grand secular alliance. He had addressed eight rallies in favour of secular alliance candidates during the poll campaign.
Chief Ministers of other states like Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal, Tarun Gogoi and Akhilesh Yadav are expected to attend the ceremony to display a picture of unity among parties opposed to BJP. Samajwadi Party MP from Mainpuri Tej Pratap Yadav, who is here in connection with Chhath observed by his mother-in-law Rabri Devi, confirmed that Yadav would attend the ceremony. Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad wish to make the oath ceremony a big event by bringing together leaders of different parties which are opposed to BJP.