Nitish Kumar invites Modi to swearing-in ceremony

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Chief Minister-designate Nitish Kumar has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several national and regional leaders to his swearing-in scheduled for Friday.

However, Mr. Modi may not attend the function and his Ministers Venkaiah Naidu and Rajiv Pratap Rudy are likely to represent him.

Earlier, Babul Supriyo, Union Minister of State and BJP MP from Asansol in West Bengal, told some private news channels in Varanasi that Mr. Modi would attend the ceremony. But the BJP in Bihar denied any knowledge of his visit.

“We’ve no idea about Mr. Modi visiting Patna…He may not be able to attend the function because of his engagements,” BJP vice-president Sanjay Mayunkh said. However, party leaders told The Hindu that Mr. Naidu and Mr. Rudy would instead represent the Prime Minister at the ceremony.

JD(U) Bihar president Basistha Narayan Singh said: “The invitation to the Prime Minister was a matter of political etiquette and it is up to him to decide.”

Political leaders close to Mr. Nitish Kumar said the Chief Minister had also invited BJP leader L.K. Advani, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Union Ministers from Bihar.

Meanwhile, Bihar Congress president Ashok Chaudhury has confirmed that party vice-president Rahul Gandhi will attend the ceremony. Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi), Tarun Gogoi (Assam) and Akhilesh Yadav (U.P.) have also been invited, besides Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, and DMK leader M.K. Stalin.

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