Gujarat chaiwala invited to attend oath ceremony

Hundreds of Modi supporters and dyed-in-the-wool saffronites had not been invited but have left for New Delhi to be part of the celebrations after the ceremony.



By Mahesh Trivedi

Published: Mon 26 May 2014, 10:14 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:03 AM

A humble tea seller and a member of a blue-blooded royal family who had proposed Narendra Modi’s name when the latter filed his nomination as the Bharatiya Janata party’s (BJP) Lok Sabha candidate from Vadodara, will attend Monday’s grandiose ceremony at New Delhi’s Rashtrapati Bhavan when the former Gujarat chief minister will be sworn as the prime minister.

Both ‘chaiwala’ Kiran Mahida, who has been a BJP volunteer for years, and Shubhanginidevi Gaekwad, queen mother of the erstwhile princely state of Vadodara, had received telephone calls from BJP headquarters to be present at the oath ceremony.

In order to mark Modi’s victory from Vadodara with a record margin of 570,128 votes, two other local proposers of his candidacy have also been invited for the function.

While Bhupendra Patel was the first city president of BJP after its formation in 1980, Neela Desai is the widow of Makrand Desai who was also the first elected BJP MLA and a minister in the state government.

Newly-appointed Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Patel will also be present with a 40-member team comprising her ministers and office-bearers of the state BJP unit.

A senior BJP leader told Khaleej Times that Modi, who held the reins of the state from October 7, 2001, to May 21, never invited family members for such functions but felt that his family members would go to the national capital and congratulate him after his installation as PM.

He said hundreds of Modi supporters and dyed-in-the-wool saffronites had not been invited but have left for New Delhi to be part of the celebrations after the ceremony.

In addition to ministers and bureaucrats, some industry players Gautam Adani of Adani group, Parimal Nathwani of RIL and Sudhir Mehta of Torrent will be present at the function.

On its part, the Gujarat BJP has planned massive celebrations not only in Ahmedabad but in all district headquarters by bursting firecrackers and distributing sweets.

Modi’s supporter Karsan Dabhi will walk from his native Junagadh town to Delhi from May 28 having taken such a pledge for Modi becoming PM. In 2002, he had decided to consume food only once daily till he realised his dream of seeing Modi as PM whom he will now present a garland in Delhi. Lawyers in small town Vadiya in Saurashtra have promised to fight cases for free for one day next week to mark the rare occasion.

Modi in his electioneering addressed over 400 rallies and travelled 300,000km with the result that the BJP won a massive mandate in the national elections, winning 282 seats on its own — a clear majority — and 335 seats along with its allies, while the Congress was reduced to only 44 Lok Sabha seats.

mahesh@khaleejtimes.com


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