Senior BJP leader L K Advani will not be attending the swearing-in ceremony of new Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda on Saturday.
While BJP leaders have attributed Advani's decision not to attend the function to two major festivals — Eid and Ganesh Chaturthi — the speculation was rife that Advani was not too keen to be present owing to uncertainty over the longevity of the coalition arrangement with the JMM, given the past experience of the party with the Shibu Soren-led outfit.
"Several leaders will attend the swearing-in function, many will not be able to go as there are two festivals on the same day" BJP chief spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad told reporters in New Delhi when asked if Advani would go to Jharkhand.
Prasad refused to reply to queries if the issue of choosing Munda as the chief minister had created divisions within the party.
The move to form a government with JMM support was widely seen as an initiative by BJP president Nitin Gadkari, backed by former party president Rajnath Singh. Some BJP CMs are likely to be present.