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Naveen Patnaik invites Modi for his swearing-in

By Anuj Cariappa

Bhubaneswar, May 28: Odisha chief minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik has invited prime minister-elect Narendra Modi and leaders of different political parties to his swearing-in ceremony scheduled to be held here on Wednesday, party sources said.

Patnaik will take oath as the chief minister for fifth time in a row at 10.30 am on Wednesday.

Naveen Patnaik

"A special message has been sent to Delhi to invite the Prime Minister for the swearing-in ceremony of the new government in Odisha," sources in the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) said.

Invitations have also been sent to leaders of different political parties in the state. However, the invite to the prime minister is significant as Patnaik had during election campaign given an open invitation to Modi.

Patnaik set for record fifth term as Odisha CM, swearing-in-ceremony on May 29Patnaik set for record fifth term as Odisha CM, swearing-in-ceremony on May 29

Patnaik at an election meeting at Basta under Balasore Lok Sabha constituency had invited Modi to his swearing-in, after Modi in a public meeting announced that he would again visit Odisha to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the next BJP government in the state.

Modi had also predicted that Patnaik's government will be out of power after the May 23 poll result announcement.

In his reply, Patnaik had said, "BJD has already secured majority in the Assembly by the end of the third-phase of polling. I humbly invite him (Modi) to attend the oath-taking ceremony of the new BJD government."

Apart from the prime minister, the state government has also invited captains of industries, members of women self help groups and others to the ceremony.

More than 5,000 people will attend Patnaik's swearing-in.

The BJD supremo's elder sister Gita Mehta and other members of his family may also attend the function.

This time, Patnaik will take oath at the exhibition ground here. In earlier four occasions, he had taken oath at Raj Bhavan.

Director General of Police R P Sharma and other senior officers reviewed the security arrangements at the new venue.

Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal will administer oath of office to Patnaik and his council of ministers.

BJD set to return to power in Odisha, but BJP will make gainsBJD set to return to power in Odisha, but BJP will make gains

Patnaik had on May 24 tendered resignation of the council of ministers headed by him. He had on Sunday met the governor and staked claim for government formation.

After being satisfied that the BJD commands a majority in Odisha Legislative Assembly, the governor extended an invitation to the party chief to form the new government, an official communication said.

The Patnaik-led BJD has secured 112 seats in the 147-member Odisha Assembly followed by BJP that won 23 seats and Congress with nine seats. An independent and CPM won one seat each.

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