Modi to be sworn in as CM tomorrow; Jayalalitha to attend function

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Gandhinagar, Dec 24 (UNI) Mr Narendra Modi will be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Gujarat tomorrow for the third time at a public function in Ahmedabad which may mark the realignment of political forces.

The swearing-in ceremony of the 57-year-old BJP leader, which coincides with the birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, will be attended, among others, by AIADMK leader and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha and Indian National Lok Dal chief and former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala.

Significance is being attached in political circles to the decision of Ms Jayalalitha and Mr Chautala to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the Hindutva 'poster-boy' since their parties are still the members of the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA), which insists on maintaining distance from the BJP.

Besides the BJP Chief Ministers of Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarkhand and Rajasthan, the ceremony at the Sardar Patel Stadium will be attended by several NDA leaders, including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi, and Akali dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L K Advani and BJP President Rajnath Singh will be among the top party leaders present.

The 57-year-old BJP leader will be administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Naval Kishore Sharma at a ceremony at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad at 1240 hrs.

Indications are that Mr Modi will take oath alone tomorrow and expand his ministry later.

Earlier today, Mr Modi was unanimously elected as the leader of the new BJP Legislature Party at a meeting held at the Town Hall here.

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.

At the legislature party meeting, Mr Modi's name was proposed by senior leader Vajubhai Vala and seconded by Mr Fakir Vaghela, Mr Mangubhai Patel and Ms Jyotsnaben Somani. All the BJP legislators approved his name for the Chief Ministership by raising their hands.

''Mr Modi is ... picking up from para six, line one of DR 38 POLITICS-GUJ-MODI-LEAD ELECTED. UNI

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