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Preparations for Modi's swearing-in on war footing

For the first time, Prime Minister will be attending the swearing-in of a state chief minister.

india Updated: Dec 20, 2002 23:22 IST

Preparations for Sunday's swearing-in ceremony of Gujarat Chief Minister-designate Narendra Modi here are on in full swing with foolproof security arrangements being made for the visiting dignitaries, including Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani.

Besides Vajpayee and Advani, several Union ministers, BJP national leaders, movie stars and over one lakh citizens are expected to attend the function to be held at Sardar Patel Stadium at around 1300 hrs (local time), official sources said.

Perhaps for the first time in Indian history, the country's Prime Minister will be attending the swearing-in ceremony of a state chief minister as chief guest.

Modi, who was elected leader of the BJP Legislative Party on Monday after getting two-third majority in the polls, will be sworn in along with his "token" ministry.

The ceremony will be shown live on the state government website also, the sources said.

Close circuit TVs and huge screens will be installed in the stadium to enable the viewers witness the ceremony. Besides, various electronic media channels will be telecasting it live also.

Interestingly, for the first time the ceremony is being held out of the state capital Gandhinagar. The venue was shifted to enable the electorate of Maninagar participate in the ceremony, from where Modi won with a margin of over 75000 votes.

BJP's registered a landslide victory in the just-concluded elections gaining 126 seats in the state Assembly.

Modi hinted at a "token" Cabinet after he staked his claim to form the government and will later expand it after a short Assembly session.

Amongst those to attend the ceremony are Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, former chief ministers Prakash Singh Badal and Farooq Abdullah, Cine stars Hema Malini, Juhi Chawla, Shekhar Suman, actor-turned politician and Union minister Vinod Khanna and others.

First Published: Dec 20, 2002 12:40 IST