Modi takes blessings of saints before taking charge as CM

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Ahmedabad, Dec 25 (UNI) Mr Narendra Modi today sought the blessings of saints belonging to different Hindu sects before taking over the charge as the 14th Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Prominent among the saints were Swami Satyamitranand Giri, Sadhu Avichaldas, saints of Swaminarayan Sampraday and Swami Adhyatmanand.

A swamiji put a silver ''Taj'' (Crown) on the head of Mr Modi, who accepted his blessings with folded hands.

Mr Modi's mother was also present at the ceremony.

Before taking oath, Mr Modi went to the special enclosure, where RSS, VHP and his family members were sitting. He took the blessings of his mother.

The Congress, which was routed in the elections, was conspicuous by its absence.

State Congress Chief Bharat Singh Solanki, Leader of the Opposition in the previous Assembly Arjun Modhvadia and others were in Delhi attending a party meeting to discuss the poll debacle.

The sun was bright and the temperature was hovering around 29 degrees Celsius making people sweat profusely.

The temperature is rising for the past three days, an unnatural phenomena in the season.

Dignitaries who attended the function included Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L K Advani, BJP chief Rajnath Singh, former Maharashtra chief minister Manohar Joshi, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Major Gen (Retd) Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri and BJP stalwarts like Arun Jaitely, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Kalraj Mishra, among others.

A group of singers entertained the audience with popular folk songs of Gujarat, specially Kathiawadi songs, as people started taking their seats as early as 0900 hrs.

Newly-elected MLAs were congratulating each other. Some of the candidates who lost the elections were also present.

Police had to resort to minor lathicharge as frenzied supporters broke the police cordon and tried to enter the enclosures for the newly elected MLAs, MP and ex-MPs.

Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and TV personalities, Smriti Irani, Mukesh (Bhishma) Khanna attracted the attention of the audience.

UNI

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