Saffron surge as Khattar takes oath as first BJP chief minister

  • Bhartesh Singh Thakur, Hindustan Times, Panchkula
  • Updated: Oct 27, 2014 13:02 IST

While half the town appeared to have been painted in saffron, all roads seemed to lead to the mela ground in Sector 5 - the venue where Manohar Lal Khattar took oath as the BJP's first chief minister in Haryana in Panchkula on Sunday morning.

All electric poles, tree trunks and open spaces were dotted with huge hoardings, posters and banners welcoming PM Narendra Modi, Khattar and other party leaders.

Besides, there were huge welcome gates on almost all entry points to the venue. Even around 10 am, good one-and-half-hour before the ceremony, the work of painting the pavements and sprucing up the grass was underway at the dividing road of sectors 8/17.

The gathering, numbering around 50,000, comprised a mélange of supporters - a large number of farmers, traders, youth and women.

The slogans of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' rent the air. A number of people carried party flags and saffron banners. A big banner featuring Modi hung in the background. The stage was draped in white with 'Minimum government, maximum governance' written in saffron. Different variety of flowers adorned the stage.
Besides MPs and MLAs, sadhus were also in attendance. Most of them wore saffron clothes and turbans that added colour to the ceremony. The CM-designate also wore a saffron jacket.
The ceremony that was to start at 11.23 am began on time and ended in 20 minutes. Modi did not make a speech.

People had come to see Modi

Most people had gathered to catch a glimpse of Modi. As soon as he arrived, people stood up to see him. When the turn of Anil Vij and Rao Narbir Singh to take the oath came, people raised slogans in their favour.

At the end of the ceremony, the call from the stage not to litter the ground went unheeded. The ground was covered with trash after the ceremony. But the MC workers were on job to remove it.
And there was chaos, not only before the start of the ceremony but also afterwards, this despite SP-rank officers manning the nakas. Almost half the crowd was issued passes. Traffic jams were witnessed on all four corners of the venue.

Political personalities in attendance

Among the prominent people present were union ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu, Radha Mohan, Anant Kumar, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Ram Vilas Paswan, Maneka Gandhi, Krishan Pal Gurjar, Rao Inderjit Singh, Gen VK Singh (retd) and Sanjeev Balyan. Punjab governor and UT administrator Shivraj Patil, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh, Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel, Goa CM Manohar Parrikar and former Himachal CM Prem Kumar Dhumal were also present.

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