UPA-NDA allies mingle at Badal’s oath ceremony

Trinamool leaders meet Advani, Gadkari. Gurpreet Singh Nibber reports.

chandigarh Updated: Mar 14, 2012 21:33 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Hindustan Times
Chandigarh,Parkash Singh Badal,Punjab chief minister

As Parkash Singh Badal took oath of the office of Punjab chief minister for the fifth time, the leaders of different political parties allying with Congress-led United progressive alliance (UPA) and BJP-led National democratic alliance (NDA) were seen mingling with each other, at Banda Singh Bahadur war memorial at Chappar Chirri in district Ajitgarh, 15-kilometer from Chandigarh.

Parkash Singh Badal is the patron of Shiromani Akali Dal and is in alliance with the BJP. The coalition is repeating government in the state for second consecutive term. SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, and 16 other cabinet member also took oath.

Invitations for the oath taking ceremony were sent across the parties and alliance lines, and the leaders also turned up. Interestingly the leader of Trinamool congress including Union minister of state for shipping Mukul Roy, Rachhpal Singh tourism minister in West Bengal and another leader of the party KD Singh attended the ceremony. Trinamool congress is UPA ally but it is not functioning smooth with congress leader for past sometime.

The invitation was extended to West Bengal CM and chairperson Trinamool congress party to attend oath taking ceremony and had shown inability to come but had sent three leaders from his party leaders. These leaders though arrived late and also left the venue immediately after the ceremony was over were seen in conversation with BJP top leaders including president Nitin Gadkari, LK Advani and Rajnath Singh. SAD secretary general Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa who led these leaders into the venue said they had conveyed felicitations to Parkash Singh Badal and top leaders of BJP. Visit of these leader and meeting BJP leaders is taken with a pinch of salt, especially when Mamta had sent a low key leader of her party to a dinner invitation from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a few days ago.

Praful Patel leader of Nationalist congress party (NCP) again an ally of UPA and Union minister for heavy industries and public enterprises also came to attend the oath ceremony and talked to the leaders of BJP. The invitation was extended to NCP president and Union minister Sharad Pawar and his daughter MP Supriya Sule but both were unable make to the ceremony, as they were busy in railway budget. Supriya is very close of Harsimrat Kaur Badal wife of Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is MP from Bathinda.

Invitation was also extended to Tamil Nadu and Bihar chief minister J Jayalalitha and Nitish Kumar respectively but they had conveyed inability to show up. The invitation was also extended to Union minister for new and renewable energy Farooq Abdullah and his son chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah both leader of national conference also an ally of UPA were expected to come but they pulled back at the last moment.

First Published: Mar 14, 2012 21:30 IST